Any hopes of a trilogy battle between Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell have been firmly dashed.
The recently retired MMA legend has categorically stated he plans on staying retired and no amount of persuasion will tempt him to fight “The Iceman” or any other fighter, for that matter.
“Chuck got the better of me when we fought together, but there are guys he lost to that I beat. Styles make matches,” Ortiz told ESPN.
“We were both great champions, but who defended the title most? That's what it comes down to.”
“No, I've had my time. Our battles are behind us, it's time to mend fences and look to the future. There's no grudges, let bygones be bygones, and I've got my family to take care of now.”
“My son Jacob says he wants to take after me, but he's got to get his Masters first. He can go to whatever school he wants, but he has to get his degree before he can compete.”
“At 10 years old he's second in the State [at wrestling], he loves wrestling, but education is No. 1.”
In the co-main event at UFC 148, “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” went head-to-head with Forrest Griffin in a rubber match that would signal the end of his storied career. It wasn’t the happiest of curtain calls as Ortiz ended on the losing side via unanimous decision—his third straight loss.
As Ortiz intimated, the former UFC 205-pound titlists have had their battles and it’s time to call it a day, more so given the fact Liddell is also retired and has already beaten him on two separate occasions—both by way of technical knockout.
The newly inducted UFC Hall of Famer leaves the stage knowing that he holds the record for most successful titles defenses (five) in the 205-pound class.
That said, with regards to MMA, the 37-year-old Ortiz (16-11-1 MMA, 15-11-1 UFC) was one of the pioneers of the sport and also one of its staunchest supporters. His epic battles with Ken Shamrock and Liddell will always remain ever-present in the hearts and minds of MMA’s hardcore cognoscenti.