Over the weekend, Tito Ortiz finally got his revenge, knocking out Chuck Liddell in the first round of their trilogy fight, promoted by Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy MMA. But while the moment may have been vindicating for Ortiz, for many others, the spectacle represented some of the worst that fighting has to offer.
Liddell – eight years removed from fighting and over a decade removed from his last win – looked like a shell of himself when he stepped back in the cage. The 48-year-old fighter, who had been making overtures about a return to active competition following his fight with Ortiz, was barely recognizable as the man who once lorded over the 205-pound division and 'The Iceman' was quickly put down, knocked out for the fourth time in his last four fights. In the aftermath, many have deemed event and entirely unnecessary debacle. Except, of course, "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy."
Posting on Instagram on Monday, Ortiz reflected on his third fight with Liddell, saying he got some "redemption" from his previous losses and responding to the fans who have been lamenting the fact that the fight happened in the first place.
"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. Yes I agree and help make it happen with Golden Boy Boxing. 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. "(Edited for clarity by MMAFighting).
Liddell and Ortiz have a long history together. One-time training partners, Liddell and Ortiz were two of the biggest names in the early years of the Zuffa era UFC. But while Ortiz was the light heavyweight champion, Liddell surged up the rankings in pursuit of a title shot, that Ortiz denied. This led to some fallout and a public feud between Ortiz and the UFC. Eventually, after Ortiz lost the title to Randy Couture, the two did finally meet in a number-one contender bout, with Liddell stopping Ortiz in the second round. They rematched two years later with a similar result but the animosity never quite went away. Now, Ortiz is ready to put MMA behind him for good, and even had some parting niceties for Liddell as well.
"I need to thank all my fans, friends, and family that supported me for this fight. I could not 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. "
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Oscar pretending like Chuck looked ready to fight against Tito.
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The Champ Chump.
Tried To Be Nice But You're Still My Bitch @ TeamKhabib Check It Out … You Could not Box Your Way Out Of A Paper Bag. I See You & The Team Working On That Footwork. Running From A Much Needed Ass Whoopin '. Keep Swimmin 'Shrimp, The Fans Like Me Better I'm The Champ Chump pic.twitter.com/mdKdqF30cU
– Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) November 27, 2018
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On a quest to get back to top shape for my championship fight. After my fight with Jacare Souza, I took a couple months off training, mostly to heal some nagging injuries that had been bothering me. Injuries that do not really happen in the fight but happen in training camp. Usually and most likely the training is always more difficult than the fight itself. Also because I had 5 training camps in 18 months and the consequences on my body after that, were agonizing to say the least. Then, this summer I coached a season of the ultimate fighter and dedicated all my time and efforts towards that. Now! for the past month! I've been "on a mission" to get back on track if not better than before with my coach @johnwalkerpro. On the contrary to most beliefs and to my surprise, the time off was so good for me. I have gained some weight, I've gotten out of fight shape but my body is not hurting during training, I'm not having a hard time getting up to go train anymore, and my energy levels have improved drastically. Mentally, I'm so far ahead, I'm already a champion! And I know that ill have to put in the work to get back in shape for this fight and to get this extra cheese off my belly But hard work has never scared me! Adapting to new environments situations and solving problems is becoming my new specialty. I've been trough lots of ups and downs and I swear I'm ready to do this now! For those that support me I appreciate you! Just now that I'm only getting started and I can not wait to make you all proud! To those who do not. Be ready to be mad! I will be #Andnew @ufc #middleweight #world #champion Starting to get back on track is not a problem if you know where you're going !! # OnAmission4Gold: @ kidbotic
Give this man one final fight.
Does Colby think Rogaine is ingested? That could explain some things.
.@ jonnybones you know I'm the realist friend you have and I'll always be the first one to tell you the truth … And the truth is, it's time you tell your dealer to start cutting that cocaine with some rogaine. pic.twitter.com/qehoVQHQ5W
– Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) November 27, 2018
Megan Olivi coming with to ESPN.
I'm 1000% not leaving UFC. I'm a @ UFC employee. I will be going to ESPN in 2019 for UFC coverage. I have these other opportunities because my boss at UFC, @ danawhite, allows me to branch out when I can.
– Megan Olivi (@MeganOlivi) November 26, 2018
I'm hearing you guys want to see a technician versus a brawler. What do you say Hot Balls?
– Alistair Overeem (@Alistairovereem) November 26, 2018
Why do I see everybody saying they feel bad for Chuck Liddell, or that this weekend was sad? I've been beat up for waaayyy less money …. feel bad for me!
– Chas Skelly (@ChasSkelly) November 26, 2018
This is incredible.
N / A
2016: Robert Whittaker headlined his first UFC event, knocking out Derek Brunson with a headkick and punches at UFC Fight Night 101.
Thanks for reading and see y'all tomorrow!
Does Tito actually stay retired now?
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