A brief history of the Tito Ortiz vs. Chuck Liddell rivalry
The Tito Ortiz vs. Chuck Liddell rivalry is one of the most storied pairings in the history of mixed martial arts. UFC 47 was the first time they finally fought in the Octagon. Watch the full fight!
Ortiz and Liddell were once friends. Believe it or not, they were both clients of Dana White before he enlisted the Fertitta brothers to purchase the UFC in January 2001 for $2 million. The Fertittas sold the company in 2017 for a reported $4.2 billion.
Following the UFC purchase, Ortiz and Liddell found different management, Ortiz holding the light heavyweight championship.
Liddell was one of the top contenders to Ortiz’s title and their relationship began to crumble.
By the time they finally stepped into the Octagon at UFC 47 on April 2, 2004, neither held the belt. Randy Couture took the belt from Ortiz at UFC 44 in September of 2003. Liddell, having lost to Couture at UFC 43, had been off in Japan representing the UFC while fighting in the Pride FC Middleweight Grand Prix. Liddell defeated Alistair Overeem in Japan, but lost to Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in the semi-final round.
When they met at UFC 47, Ortiz and Liddell was each looking to get back into the championship fold.
Ortiz and Liddell would go on to fight again at UFC 66 on Dec. 30, 2006. The final bout of their trilogy, however, wouldn’t take place for almost another 12 years on Nov. 24, 2018, under the Golden Boy Promotions banner of Oscar De La Hoya. UFC president Dana White refused to sign the trilogy bout.
Liddell returned to retirement following the trilogy fight. Ortiz had planned for the fight to be one-and-done for him, as well, but was lured into a multi-fight contract with Combate Americas.
(Courtesy of UFC)
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Tito Ortiz in the lead-up to UFC 47 bout with Chuck Liddell
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