Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell are legends of MMA in each of their own rights. The age-defying nature of their 20-year long careers is a testament to each of their commitment and hard work. Ortiz carries a 19-12-1 record into the fight.
The Semi-retired star was last seen in action early in 2017. Liddell (21-8-0) hasn’t been in the cage since 2010, losing by knockout to Rich Franklin. That was his third straight knockout loss prompting his official retirement later that year, taking a job with the UFC as a brand ambassador.
But nearly as long as their careers is their rivalry, having first met way back in 2004 at UFC 47, the pair re matched late in 2006 but have not successfully met in the cage despite several attempts since.
A trilogy fight was planned by the UFC for 2010, with both men scheduled to serve as coaches on The Ultimate Fighter, but an Ortiz injury meant that he was forced to be pulled from the contest and was replaced by Rich Franklin. Franklin KO’d Liddell and The Iceman retired shortly after. Tito meanwhile has remained active, fighting for Bellator and earning wins over Alexander Schlemenko, Stephan Bonnar, and Chael Sonnen.
Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz have engaged in one of the longest and most storied rivalries in the history of mixed martial arts. From breaking into the sport as a pair of exciting prospects and teammates, both managed by now-UFC president Dana White, the pair became two of the biggest stars MMA had ever seen in the west.
As two of the best light heavyweights of their time, it became increasingly clear that their friendship would eventually have to be put aside to allow fans to find out which man was the UFC’s best. Initially, Tito was reluctant to compete against his longtime training partner, but when Chuck publicly stated that the reason Tito didn’t want to fight him was that he knew he would lose, the fight was on.
In the 12 years since their second fight, tensions between both men have remained as high as ever and when Oscar De La Hoya announced that his Golden Boy Promotions would be venturing into MMA, the former champion boxer announced that the legends would headline his first card.