On Nov. 21, 2009, Tito Ortiz will be making his return to the octagon when he takes on Forrest Griffin in the main event of UFC 106.
Ortiz’s return comes after a layoff of over a year and he has wasted no time in getting the hype machine rolling. In a recent interview with MMAweekly.com, “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” expressed an interest in fighting Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell for a third time.
Win or lose against Griffin, another fight with Liddell is a fight this bleacher creature would love to see.
Even though both fighters are on the downside of their careers, this is a fight that would guarantee another big payday. Sure, Liddell has already beaten Ortiz twice and has nothing left to prove in his MMA career, but another opportunity to TKO Ortiz may be just be enough to pull him out of his quasi retirement.
So who would win in a third go around? Does Chuck Liddell still have the key to Ortiz’s roller skates? Or would Ortiz exact revenge and finally defeat his former friend and training partner?
Well…third time’s a charm, right?
It absolutely is. The edge would surely be on Ortiz’s side in a third installment.
Ortiz may not be a spring chicken, but he is five years younger than the Iceman. Liddell is one of the all time greats in this sport, but he is no ageless wonder like Randy Couture.
Ortiz has been known throughout his entire career as a tireless worker with an unparalleled work ethic. It’s that dedication to fitness and conditioning that would make Ortiz dangerous in a third fight.
Ortiz has always been a good striker with solid technique, but Liddell’s awkward style has proved to be a puzzle he cannot solve. This time around, Ortiz would look to capitalize on his conditioning and pressure Liddell in the clinch working takedowns and Muay Thai. Closing the distance would neutralize Liddell’s devastating looping punches.
Both Liddell and Ortiz are talented wrestlers. Liddell uses his wrestling in reverse to avoid takedowns and keep fights standing while Ortiz pushes for the takedown and utilizes his violent ground and pound.
The winner of a potential third fight would be the one who could dictate where the fight takes place and Ortiz’s relentless attack would finally be too much for Liddell.
Tito Ortiz is not making a return to the UFC for the sole purpose of lining his pockets. Ortiz is looking for one last hurrah and a run at the title—a run that Ortiz would like to see go through the Iceman.
For a look at the potential rematch from Liddell’s perspective see what James Ryan has to say: