Tito Ortiz Beats Chuck Liddell Via 1st-Round Knockout on Golden Boy Promotions

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 25, 2018

INGLEWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 24:  Tito Ortiz celebrates his win after one round against Chuck Liddell during the Light Heavyweight bout at The Forum on November 24, 2018 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

Tito Ortiz knocked out Chuck Liddell in the first round of their fight Saturday night at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

This is the first time Ortiz has defeated Liddell after he lost their prior two head-to-head meetings.Β It's also Ortiz's first fight since January 2017.Β 

Liddell attempted to go on the offensive from the opening bell but was a clear step behind his opponent. Ortiz sensed Liddell wasn't going to present much of a challenge and opted for an aggressive approach as time wound down in the first round.

With 40 seconds remaining, Ortiz caught Liddell with a straight right hand that sent Liddell to the canvas. Liddell was already out, and referee Herb Dean stepped in after Ortiz landed a few more unprotected shots.

A general consensus grew as soon as Ortiz was celebrating his win. Liddell is an MMA legend and helped turn the UFC into the massive company it is today. But at 48 years old, the former UFC light heavyweight champion was a shell of his former self.

Oskar Garcia @oskargarcia

Ortiz's celebration dance and hamming it up is more intricate and energy-consuming than his entire fight. #LiddellOrtiz3

Ariel Helwani @arielhelwani

Ortiz is doing his vintage celebration. He is very happy. That was really hard to watch. Liddell should not have been out there.

Evan Turner @thekidet

Chuck Liddell has NO business being in that ring πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ And if I were Tito Ortiz I would not view that as a win. Much respect for the 2 legends tho

The record book shows Ortiz is now 1-2 against Liddell, but any fan who watched the fight will put an asterisk on the final matchup. Liddell knocked Ortiz out twice when the fighters were in their respective primes. Ortiz finally prevailed when Liddell was coming back off an eight-year hiatus.

Granted, that didn't look to stop Ortiz from savoring his triumph. He dug Liddell's proverbial grave in the middle of the cage as he celebrated.

Shaheen Al-Shatti @shaunalshatti

Tito Ortiz has been waiting 14 years to do this. And of course @allelbows caught the perfect shot. #LiddellOrtiz3 https://t.co/cE2ZQVrWUT

According to ESPN.com'sΒ Ariel Helwani, Liddell said he "[doesn't] know" whether he'll return for another fight or retire once again. Liddell lost his final three UFC fights before walking away in 2010, and it's hard to see how Saturday's bout entices him to prolong his MMA career.

Likewise, Ortiz wrapped up his biggest piece of unfinished business.

When this event was announced in July, OrtizΒ told reportersΒ Liddell was the only person he wanted to fight. By achieving his goal of beating Liddell, he can close his career on a personal high note.