The pay-per-view numbers may not bear it out, but after Liddell vs. Ortiz 3 last night, many fight fans are concerned about where Chuck Liddell (21-9-0) and Tito Ortiz (20-12-1) are heading after last night’s result.
Ortiz, the younger and more active of the two at 43 years old, was the logical bet to win, but many still held out hope that an eight year absence from the cage would revitalize the jaw of Liddell and return him to his former Iceman ways.
But Father Time had other ideas.
Liddell looked noticeably slower, reduced for the most part to back-pedalling on the outside from an Ortiz who was still unsure if he could move forward without eating the big right hand. After some initial exchanges, the confidence of Ortiz grew and he put Chuck away near the end of the first round.
Tito "The People's Champ" Ortiz @titoortiz gets redemption with a 1st-round KO over Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell @ChuckLiddell. This is pretty much the entire fight. #liddellortiz3 #chuckliddell #titoortiz #mma pic.twitter.com/yXwkoTyGBR
— Boxing Radar (@BoxingRadar) November 25, 2018
The winners get to write the narrative and it was scored as ‘redemption’ for the former Huntington Beach Bad Boy.
Yeah it’s official, I am never replying to chuck calling me out again. https://t.co/oDYJ91Aes0
— BONY (@JonnyBones) November 25, 2018
Liddell admitted in the post-fight that he could have performed better and that it was a mistake to give Ortiz the early confidence by not initiating exchanges. He will think about his future, refusing to confirm his retirement.
Come home with your shield or on it! Train, live and fight like a warrior. I wish I had performed better tonight for all the incredible people who came to support me. I came up against all… https://t.co/oac2IJn7xP
— Chuck Liddell (@ChuckLiddell) November 25, 2018
It’s hard to gauge the performance of Ortiz against this version of Liddell. He looked in good shape with good footwork, but was fighting a guy eight years removed from being a shell of himself.
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) November 25, 2018
Ortiz also declined to speculate if he will fight again and encouraged Liddell to continue fighting afterwards. The only retirement of the night was from 86-year-old MMA judge ‘Judo’ Gene Lebell.
By the way, the UFC recently announced that Anderson Silva, 43, will fight Israel Adesanya, 29, at Australia’s UFC 234 in February 2019.
So, go ahead: Tell Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz they can’t fight anymore.
The California State Athletic Commission didn’t.