The third and final fight between MMA legends Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz took place today at the inaugural Golden Boy Promotions MMA event.
There was a lot of hype coming into this fight, not necessarily because fans expected something spectacular but more because it seemed unnecessary. The two fighters had fought twice before with Liddell winning both fights by TKO. The need for a third fight seemed pointless especially considering Liddell had been retired for eight years.
The lure was the return of the Liddell as Ortiz had competed eight times since Liddel’s retirement with the most recent coming in early 2017. A fan favorite during his tenure with the UFC, Liddell retired in 2010 after losing three consecutive fights by knock out. After the announcement of his return, excitement turned to concern after watching Liddell training footage.
The Iceman looked like a former shell of himself in the training footage and when it came to the fight things were not much different. There would be no vintage performance from Lidell as Ortiz knocked him out in the first round. A right hand from Ortiz sent Liddell crashing down to the canvas face first and it was over. Ortiz landed some unnecessary shots to an unconscious Liddell before it was stopped.
Welcome back to 2004, someone put on Lean Back
Tito Ortiz with the first round knockout of Chuck Liddell ??? pic.twitter.com/VSp1rWCcTj
— The Sports Quotient (@SportsQuotient) November 25, 2018
It was brutal to watch
People criticized Golden Boy Promotions for bringing Liddell back out of retirement, especially considering how his career had ended. This proves why people were worried. Liddell took an unnecessary knock out as it was clear from his training footage he no longer has the ability he once did.
Ortiz was in control from the start pressing the action and Liddell seemed unsure when to engage. When he did try he was immediately backed up and it seemed like only a matter of time before Ortiz pounced on him. Fans who were hoping to see Liddell KO Ortiz for a third time were severely disappointed as Liddell how now lost his last four fights by KO.
Hopefully, Liddell hangs it up for good now. It is not fun remembering a legend for trying to stick around well beyond his prime. Liddell has a storied career that saw him become one of the UFC’s most popular champions. As for Ortiz, it would make sense for him to ride off into the sunset having avenged his losses to Liddel with this brutal KO. There really is no need for Ortiz to continue to fight and this would be the perfect ending to his career.
Ortiz avenges his losses to Liddell
Where Golden Boy Promotions goes from here as far as MMA is anyone’s guess. They will clearly get more flack for bringing Liddell out of retirement to make a buck. Oscar De La Hoya has already been criticized for seemingly not knowing what his fight card was for this event at the press conference and rumors were that at weigh-ins things were very unorganized.
Hopefully, Golden Boy gets everything together and can try to make a run to be a legitimate contender for top promotion. They will likely never be bigger than the UFC, but they can provide a solid promotion for fighters to compete in if they do things right.