The final chapter in the Liddell/Ortiz trilogy was written tonight, and it ends with a first-round knockout for Tito Ortiz.
The bout that was announced to tons of controversy and sadness went down tonight at the Forum in California. The trilogy fight between Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz was controversial for many reasons. The main one being that Liddell is an icon of the sport, but hadn’t fought in eight years and wrapped his career up in 2010 by getting knocked out three times in a row. Nonetheless, he came back for his return fight in 2018 against his old foe Ortiz, who Chuck had defeated twice already via knockout at UFC 47, and UFC 66.
The week leading up to the fight did not lift any spirits. Chuck Liddell had struggled through interviews and looked slow in open workouts. The Iceman hobbled to the scale at weigh-ins, but was on-weight, allowing the fight to carry on. Tito Ortiz bumbled through pre-fight interviews, but was of course in much better shape than his adversary.
Tito started the fight by pushing the pressure and putting Liddell on the backfoot. Chuck looked incredibly slow and wasn’t throwing much outside of a couple of week leg kicks. Chuck lands a nice check left hook as Tito is coming in but there wasn’t much behind it. Tito backs Chuck up against the cage and lands two flush right hands and that’s it. Chuck is out cold.
We’re going to let Tito Ortiz have his moment, but let’s hope we never see Chuck Liddell fight again. It’s a wonder that this fight was sanctioned given the shape he was visibly in on fight week. At the end of the day though, Tito Ortiz finally gets a victory over his biggest rival.
Tito Ortiz def. Chuck Liddell by KO (Punch) in Round 1 (4:24)