At UFC 40, Tito Ortiz took on Ken Shamrock in the culmination of the "Tito vs. The Lion's Den" rivalry. This left unanimous No. 1 contender Chuck Liddell out in the cold, unfairly having to tussle with dangerous grappler Renato "Babalu" Sobral.
The hardcore fans and media weren't thrilled.
The general public thought otherwise, giving the UFC it's biggest PPV buyrate since Ken battled Royce to an epic, yawn-inducing draw.
Nevertheless, Tito had gotten a reprieve from "The Iceman."
After two one-sided wins, the path seemed clear for the two to rumble at UFC 43—or maybe not.
Tito refused to take the fight with Chuck sighting "friendship," forcing the UFC to strip him of the title, and make an interim title fight with Randy Couture at UFC 43.
The upset was on when an inflated Chuck Liddell was dominated by the Olympic alternate. Tito was down with fighting Randy though, and at UFC 44 he was spanked—literally.
Chuck made an early exit out of the Pride Middleweight Grand Prix, being dominated by Quinton Jackson. There was nowhere for Tito to go, and the No. 1 contenders scarp was set for UFC 47.
The rest is beatdown history.