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Former 'Rampage' trainer sues Tito Ortiz

June 5, 2009 | 11:02 pm

Juanito Ibarra, the man who trained Irvine's Quinton "Rampage" Jackson to an Ultimate Fighting Championship light-heavyweight title, filed a defamation lawsuit Friday against former champ Tito Ortiz of  Huntington Beach for comments the fighter made about Ibarra's split with Jackson.

Claiming defamation, invasion of privacy and infliction of emotional distress, Ibarra named Ortiz and several news outlets, such as Yahooand MMA News, for publishing comments in which Ortiz suggested the trainer was a thief who took advantage of Jackson.

Ibarra and Ortiz did not immediately return messages left by The Times on Friday.

Jackson split with Ibarra last summer, after losing his UFC belt to Forrest Griffin and getting arrested in Orange County after a bizarre car chase through Costa Mesa and Newport Beach.

Ibarra has since opened his own boxing/MMA gym in Westminster and is leading a movement to establish an amateur MMA organization sanctioned by the California State Athletic Commission.

--Lance Pugmire