Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell have been rivals for years. The two were dominant inside the Octagon in which both were UFC light heavyweight champions. However, when they fought each other it was Liddell who knocked out Ortiz both times. Ultimately, the feud never stopped. Following an eight-year retirement and at 48-years-old, Liddell made his return last night to take on the 43-year-old Ortiz.
It was a fight many fans wish never happened, but a fight many tuned in to see. In the end, Ortiz knocked out Liddell in the first round to finally get a win over his longtime rival. However, both fighters are way past their prime and many hope they don’t fight again. For Ortiz, he agrees with the statement.
“I’m done,” Ortiz said at the post-fight press conference. “There is nobody left I want to fight. I just want to continue to help the sports grow as a promoter. I want to help give back to the fighters.”
Meanwhile, Liddell didn’t look like the Liddell of old and was slow on his feet and didn’t have much power when he threw a punch. He just wasn’t the same fighter he used to be. However, for Liddell, the soon to be 49-year-old isn’t sure if this is the end for him fighting.
“The one takeaway I have from this is that I will definitely be in a training camp again,” Liddell said at the post-fight press conference. “I don’t know if it’ll be for me or for someone else. I miss being in the gym and getting ready for a fight, or getting someone else ready for a fight. So I will now be more involved in training guys — at least training guys if not fighting, but for sure training guys.”
Ask any fighter it is hard to step away from the game. For Liddell, he is proving that. In the end, Liddell will take some time to see if he should retire, but one thing is for sure is that he will stay in the gym training. The hope for many though, is Liddell follows Ortiz into retirement and stays in the sport in some capacity, just not fighting.