Tito Ortiz put all doubt to rest as he wrote the last pages in the book of the UFC career of Ken Shamrock. He stopped the legend with strikes on the ground in the first round of their third and final fight at UFC Fight Night: The Final Chapter on Tuesday night in Hollywood, Florida.
Ortiz, who was heavily favored in the bout, came out and did exactly what everyone expected him to do. At the end of the two-hour Spike TV broadcast, he defeated Shamrock very soundly in what will likely be the most watched fight in MMA history in the United States.
As the fight began, Shamrock did cross the Octagon with a much more patient pace instead of firing immediately at Tito and giving up a quick takedown. It didn’t take long, however, for Ortiz to display his strength advantage as he literally lifted Shamrock off the ground while clinching with double underhooks. This pushed the UFC Hall of Famer to the cage and then to the ground. Once inside of Shamrock’s guard, “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” unleashed his vaunted ground and pound attack, working for strike after strike and trying to end the fight. To Shamrock’s credit, he defended much better than in their previous fights, but Tito’s power and accuracy while on the offensive was still just too much to withstand.
A few shots started to leak through Shamrock’s defense and after being tagged and stunned with punches, Tito saw the opening and started to unload at a feverish pace. After a number of unanswered shots, referee Big John McCarthy had no choice but to stop the action and Tito Ortiz was victorious for the 3rd time over his long time adversary, Ken Shamrock. There was no doubt or early stoppage for anyone to dispute as Shamrock had every opportunity to defend himself but couldn’t prevent the knockout on the ground. Contrary to the events following Shamrock-Ortiz II, Shamrock did not get up right away and did not protest the stoppage.
After the fight ended, Tito did the grave-digging routine and then directed two middle fingers towards Shamrock, but Ken approached Tito and could clearly be heard on camera saying to Tito, “It was all business. You and me made a lot of money together. It was all business.” After Shamrock said that, the two fighters shook hands and embraced. Ortiz raised Shamrock’s hand in victory, and then Shamrock switched it around so that he was the one raising Ortiz’ hand in victory.
In his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, Tito apologized for flipping off Shamrock a few minutes earlier, and he added that Shamrock is someone whom he has always looked up to and respected. Ortiz’ focus then shifted towards his next opponent, as he prepares to face Chuck Liddell on December 30th at UFC 66 for the UFC Light Heavyweight Title. Ortiz said that the outcome of his fight against Liddell will be different the second time around and that this time they aren’t friends going into the fight.
Ken Shamrock then announced in so many words that he was retiring from the UFC and again congratulated Tito on a hard fought win. It looked as if Shamrock had finally been humbled on the main stage and will leave behind a legacy for being one of the hardest working and most well respected fighters in all of the UFC’s history.
Team Punishment was on display all night at UFC Fight Night because preceding Tito’s match-up with Shamrock, Ultimate Fighter 3 middleweight winner Kendall Grove defeated the previously unbeaten Chris “The Exorcist” Price. Grove looked extremely impressive in all aspects of his game, showing much improvement since starting to train with Ortiz and Team Punishment and was able to enforce his will on Price during the duration of the bout. Once mounted, Grove started to fire shots down on his opponent. While Price defended well and tried to move out of the position, Grove was landing his strikes flush on Price’s face, and Price eventually couldn’t withstand the pressure and tapped out. Kendall Grove looked very good in the fight and will now wait for his next chance to step back into the Octagon.
The upset special of the night came in the bout between Ultimate Fighter season 3 runner-up, Ed “Short Fuse” Herman and Canadian fighter Jason MacDonald. While Herman was definitely the more well known participant, it was MacDonald who impressed everyone with his ability to control the fight and not let the pressure affect him in any way, shape or form. MacDonald moved well with Herman once on the ground, mounting him at one point and then rolling almost directly into a triangle choke that trapped Herman almost immediately forcing him to wiggle and try to break free. MacDonald sunk the choke in deeper and deeper while also throwing elbows, one of which that caught Herman flush, opening a cut above his forehead.
Struggling to break free as best he could, Herman finally broke down and had to tap out to the submission and the runner up for season 3 of the Ultimate Fighter will have to go back to the drawing board because Jason Macdonald ruined his coming out party. In his post fight conversation with Joe Rogan, MacDonald mentioned that he was nobody’s stepping stone and plans to be in the UFC for a long time to come.
Another prodigy of Tito Ortiz’s Team Punishment, Matt Hamill, stepped back into the UFC after his run of the Ultimate Fighter season 3 as well. Hamill, a world class wrestler, was looking to improve upon his performance on the show, and he has all the athletic ability in the world to do just that. His opponent, Seth Petruzelli, hasn’t fought since being on the second season of the Ultimate Fighter due to an injury, but a win on the main card of this show would be just what the doctor ordered for his career.
In his last fight against Jesse Forbes, it was Hamill who controlled the pace, got the takedown, and then looked absolutely unrelenting with his ground attack. While his wrestling was still solid in this fight, Hamill struggled to really hit Petruzelli once he got him down, but Hamill did manage to open a large cut under Seth’s eye. Petruzelli had opportunities that he could have capitalized on, especially in the third round when Hamill basically had his hands at his sides for much of the time, but instead a few more of Hamill’s takedowns followed, and Hamill walked out with a unanimous decision win. In time, Matt Hamill could be a force in the 205-pound weight class, and considering the fact that he has been training in MMA for just about a year, the sky is the limit for this young fighter.
All in all, UFC Fight Night was a solid show with some solid fights. Ed Herman’s upset loss was definitely the shocker of the evening and while just about everyone expected Tito Ortiz to win, the scene of Ortiz and Ken Shamrock walking around the Octagon together raising each other’s hands will live on forever. The UFC has retired a legend and Ken Shamrock leaves behind a legendary status that very few fighters will ever live up to. Tito Ortiz will now start to prepare for his showdown with Chuck Liddell, while his teammates, Kendall Grove and Matt Hamill, look to move on to bigger and better things in the very near future.
UFC “Ortiz vs. Shamrock 3: The Final Chapter” Full Results (including prelims)
-Tito Ortiz def. Ken Shamrock by TKO (referee stoppage due to strikes) at 2:23 of Round 1
-Kendall Grove def. Chris Price by submission (strikes from mount) at 3:59 of Round 1
-Jason MacDonald def. Ed Herman by submission (triangle choke) at 2:43 of Round 1
-Matt Hamill def. Seth Petruzelli by unanimous decision
-Nathan Marquardt def. Crafton Wallace by submission (rear naked choke) at 1:15 of Round 2
-Tony DeSouza def. Dustin Hazelett by submission (kimura) at 4:00 of Round 1
-Rory Singer def. Josh Haynes by unanimous decision
-Thiago Alves def. John Alessio by unanimous decision
-Marcus Davis def. Forrest Petz by submission (guillotine choke) at 4:58 of Round 1