Golden Boy Promotion’s inaugural event laid odds at one of the most unexpected MMA bouts today: the trilogy of UFC Hall of Famers Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz’s long-lost rivalry.
On Saturday night, Liddell and Ortiz came out of retirement to headline the first event of Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy MMA promotion. More than a decade after absorbing a pair of loss from ‘The Iceman’, ‘The Huntington Beach Bad Boy’ laid his former tyrant out cold in the opening round of their third bout.
At the prime of his mixed martial arts career in 2004 and 2006, Liddell finished Ortiz twice at UFC 47 and UFC 66, respectively. After more than 12 years, the rivalry was laid on the grave with a different result: Ortiz’s strong punches floored Liddell in a troubling fashion.
Both fighters came out prepared in their approaches. However, the pride of Santa Barbara displayed a stamina far from the strength of his heyday.
Ortiz mostly stalked his rival inside the cage and won a few brief exchanges before taunting him to land a punch on his chin. After a few moments, another blood-tingling shuffle gave the 43-year-old a chance to land a straight right that dropped Liddell senseless to the canvas.
Apparently, the trilogy bout isn’t the best thing for MMA now, much more for Liddell who’s past his prime. After the knockout, photos showed members of the crowd at the cage’s corner holding their heads, looking devastated at what has just happened.
Though Liddell didn’t sugarcoat his defeat, he doesn’t yet seem to call it a career in MMA, which followers of the sport are not primarily keen on. In the post-fight presscon, the Hall of Famer said:
Continuing, Liddell revealed it wasn’t a bad knockout for him after all.
Swipe for the third photo to see distressed members of the cage-side audience:
Featured Image Credit: Youtube/Weekly Highlights and Instagram/Fight Library