This past weekend, Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell stepped into the cage for the third and final time, and Ortiz made short work of Liddell, knocking him out at the end of the first round. The fight happened under Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy MMA promotion.
In retrospect, many MMA fans felt like the fight shouldn’t have happened in the first place, as Liddell seemed slow and completely outclassed by Ortiz.
Many blamed Ortiz for taking the fight, but he’s quick to point out that Liddell actually called Ortiz out, as reported by MMAFighting.
“I’ve had some time to think about this fight verse Chuck Liddell. How it came to be? This is something that Chuck wanted. I was OK doing my businesses. He called me out,” said Ortiz.
Ortiz went on to further address why he decided to take the fight against Liddell. After all, Liddell already defeated Ortiz in the previous two fights, so even with Ortiz winning, Liddell would still be ahead overall.
“Having everyone saying why are you fighting Chuck again, he beat you twice? 1. He called me out 2. I always wanted redemption. 3. I’m here to prove my fans were right and the haters were wrong. 4. An opportunity to start a new organization that will take care of the fighters as they should be,” Ortiz said on Instagram.
The fight took four minutes and 24 seconds, but seasoned MMA fans could tell within a matter of moments that Liddell just didn’t seem to have it anymore. Once he landed a big punch that barely fazed Ortiz, it was clearly just a matter of time before things went Tito’s way.
Even Chuck Liddell’s longtime coach John Hackleman wasn’t a fan of the fight. He appeared on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show and said, “I felt sick to my stomach. It was a travesty. It was a travesty.”
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I’ve had some time to think about this fight verse @chuckliddell How it came to be? This is something that chuck wanted I was ok doing my businesses. He called me out. Yes I agree and helped make it happen with @goldenboyboxing . I took this fight very serious that’s why I put in a 18 week camp. 3x a day 6 days a week. I sacrificed everything. I was willing to put my life on the line. One year ago I had 3 level disk replacement in my neck. Plus 7 other major surgeries since 2009. But was still willing to take a chance against someone who beat me twice before. There is not quit in me. I have made mistakes and I have learned from them. That’s life! I want to fail so I can learn to better myself. I have lived my life with ups and downs but at the end of the day I keep learning. I wish more people would. Having everyone saying why are you fighting chuck again he beat you twice? 1. He called me out 2. I always wanted redemption. 3. I’m here to prove my fans were right and the haters were wrong. 4. An opportunity to start a new organization that will take care of the fighters as they should be. I showed the world what hard work and dedication can get you. I’ve never been so nervous before a fight like this one but I knew I was ready. The mind games that chuck was playing made me work harder. So thank you chuck. I was in a lose lose situation but I was willing to gamble with my health. Chuck said he was ready I knew I was ready, may the best fighter win. In this case it was me. I need to thank all my fans,friends and family that supported me for this fight. I couldn’t have done it without you! I respect chuck for stepping up and following through with the fight. You’re a champion and hall of fame legend that brought the best out of me! Sorry to all your fans I was on a mission. Thank you @moses___murrietta @parilloboxing @herdemkalash @raphaeldavis205 @scottcarrgbcm @jaysilvamma @ufcgymhuntingtonbeach @rvca you all help build me up so I could knock him down! THANK YOU!!!!
After the fight, Ortiz, who has some promotional power within Golden Boy, offered Liddell additional fights in the promotion if he wanted. Liddell was very noncommittal on whether he wanted to continue fighting in Golden Boy or any other MMA promotion.
For his own future, Tito Ortiz announced his retirement at the post-fight press conference, as reported by Inquisitr. He said, “I’m done. There is nobody left I want to fight. I just want to continue to help the sport grow as a promoter. I want to help give back to the fighters.”
Before this fight, Liddell hadn’t stepped into the cage since 2010 after he was knocked out three times in a row. Ortiz has been more active, having most recently defeated Chael Sonnen in January 2017 in Bellator.