In 2004, Liddell knocked out Ortiz. In 2006, he replicated that result. But he'll come into Saturday's match as the underdog, largely because of the fact that he hasn't fought professionally since 2010 after losing five of his last six fights.
Ortiz, meanwhile, last fought at Bellator 170 in January 2017, submitting Chael Sonnen with a rear-naked choke.
Below, we'll break down the key event details and preview the fight.
When: Saturday, Nov. 24, at 9 p.m. ET
Where: The Forum in Inglewood, California
Stream: FITE TV
Main Card: Deron Winn vs. Tom Lawlor (light heavyweight); Gleison Tibau vs. Efrain Escudero (catchweight 160 pounds); Walel Watson vs. Ricardo Palacios (bantamweight); Jay Silva vs. Oscar Cota (heavyweight)
Odds: Ortiz is the favorite at -315 (bet $315 to win $100) and Liddell the underdog at +245, per OddsShark.com.
For Liddell, Saturday's fight is about more than finishing off his trilogy with Ortiz. It's also about determining whether he can continue his fight career and gauging his form, per Brian Campbell of CBSSports.com:
"I wanted to get back into the game. I got interested and excited about fighting again and I needed a tuneup fight. And I needed a tuneup fight that we could sell. Tito is a great tuneup fight and a great measuring stick to where I am and where my comeback is. If everything goes to plan on Saturday, I'll be ready to go and fight someone for real. If I can't perform to the level I expect to, I'll hang it up for good."
Ortiz took exception to being described as a "tuneup" opponent:
"He says I'm a tuneup fight? Man, I think this guy has lost his mind over the last eight years. You have to understand, I've been competing over the last eight years. The last time I fought was 2017 against Chael Sonnen and choked him out in two and a half minutes. My timing is there, my wrestling is there and everything is still there exactly where I'm going to need to be able to beat Chuck Liddell.
"At the end of the day, we are enemies, we are not acquaintances, we are not friends and on Saturday night I'm going to smash his face and we won't be friends then either."
Ortiz raises a fair point. While Liddell has been out of the MMA game for eight years, Ortiz has gone 4-5 in that span between UFC and Bellator. And Liddell's career didn't end in a blaze of glory, either. While he was one of the sport's biggest stars, winning his first seven UFC fights and defending his light heavyweight title four times, he won just one UFC bout after that over Wanderlei Silva in 2007.
Going 11 years without an MMA win makes you a pretty obvious underdog. It also limits the relevance of the fight in the public eye:
Even Sonnen took the opportunity to throw some shade:
No, this isn't exactly Conor McGregor vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov. It's more Rocky Balboa than Rocky II. But that doesn't necessarily mean the fight will be nothing more than a nostalgia play. If Liddell has any juice remaining after his lengthy hiatus, fight fans will find out on Saturday.
Once the most feared fighter in the game, Liddell now has to prove he can hang in MMA at all, while Ortiz will be looking to finally gain the upper hand in this rivalry. Both men still have plenty to prove, and that alone is all the drama a fight needs.
Ortiz by knockout