When Dana White announced the details behind Season 11 of The Ultimate Fighter , I barely noticed. I’m pretty sure I heard “middleweights” and something about Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz. Okay, fine by me.
Even weeks later, it never really sank in.
Then, in the midst of writing an article about Randy Couture, I started writing about Chuck Liddell. And when I say “writing about,” I mean tearing him apart. I didn’t mean to, but the whole article turned into a horrible burn book of Chuck’s past.
That’s when it hit me.
Chuck Liddell sucks. So does Tito Ortiz. And their upcoming fight is going to be hyped through the roof like I’m supposed to give a damn.
Don’t insult me, bro.
I know what they’re thinking by placing these two opposite each other. Neither has won a fight in 3 years, so a loss or win for either man won’t help or hurt either way. It’s basically an exhibition between two fighters well past their primes that through non-MMA endeavors still hold enough name value to draw a crowd.
And we all know how much MMA fans hate seeing their champions tied down to a television series when they could be out defending their belts. Since neither Chuck nor Tito is anywhere near a title shot, this isn’t a problem.
The problem is, we’re getting another main event between fighters coming off losses. Only in this case, they’re both coming off several losses, some devastating. Some looked downright fatal.
Aside from the losses in their careers, Tito’s had surgery, twins, and an extremely long layoff, yet we’re still supposed to act like he’s the champion. Yes, I know about Tito’s impressive five straight title defenses. I also know that Yuki Kondo , Evan Tanner , Elvis Sinosic , Vladimir Matyushenko , and Ken Shamrock are guys that a real champion should have no problem tossing around.
Chuck’s danced with some D-level celebrities, and yet we readily accept him and his black toenails back into the cage.
You may be thinking “Hey, wait a second. I really like Chuck Liddell. He used to be really good.”
Well, I’m here to tell you that you don’t really like Chuck Liddell, and he was never as good as they want you to believe.
I’ve also seen Chuck through his prime, don’t worry. But while most people picture Chuck running around screaming in victory, I’m looking at the no-names laying on the ground behind him, namely Jeremy Horn, Renato Sobral, and Vernon White. (I don’t want to get into it right now, but I’m 100% sure the Vernon White fight was fixed.)
The reason you think you like Chuck is because he’s been promoted well. Dana does this better than anyone. Chuck became the Stone Cold Steve Austin of MMA; the mohawked, beer-bellied everyman that didn’t look like Hercules but could whoop an ass if need be.
But I don’t see the inspirational, hard-working badass they want me to see. I see someone who has nothing outside the sport. I see someone fighting cameramen off of Lindsay Lohan in some kind of drunken rage. I see Chuck falling asleep on a talk show, mumbling something about the movie “300” before slipping comfortably into la-la-land on national television.
I see Rashad Evans walking towards this corner, taking out his mouthpiece, as Chuck lay like a baby in Herb Dean’s arms, looking up at him like he was the first human being he’d ever seen.
Call me a pessimist, but when I think of Chuck or Tito, I don’t think of their best moments. I think of their worst. To me, their glasses have been half-empty for a while now.
And now I’m supposed to care about another fight between these two. What’s the angle here? Two aging Octagon warriors with nothing else to do, taking up PPV space?
Being an MMA fan, it’s easy to become jaded, with all the free fights and what-not we’re given. But if I’m supposed to buy into a fight they’re putting so much time and effort into (for the third time!), give me something worth my money.
Forget their “legacies.” They’ve both done a pretty good job tarnishing those themselves. Give them a couple young bucks in the light-heavyweight division that could really use a win over Chuck or Tito.
If you’re going to parade them back out there, do it for the right reasons. Hang ‘em high, or not at all.
I really hate writing an entire article bitching about an upcoming fight, but unfortunately, this is the only topic I feel strong enough about to write on right now. Plus, my most-read article was simply me ripping on one of my favorite fighters. Now I can rip on a couple of yours.
“I’ve had a good run but can’t run anymore. Just put me down.”—Every Time I Die
As always, keep it juicy.
Wait… did you just say Randy Couture is fighting Mark Coleman ?!