Tito Ortiz got his much-desired win and revenge over longtime rival Chuck Liddell last weekend (Sat., Nov. 24, 2018) at Golden Boy MMA 1, knocking out “The Iceman” rather easily in the very first round.
But the talk around the water cooler in the following days had much more to do with how much of a shell of his former self Chuck looked, rather than how dominant Tito was. And that just doesn’t sit well with “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy.”
“Yeah it bothers me. I worked really hard for this. I fought the best fight I knew I could, brought everything in from camp,” said Ortiz during a recent interview on The Ariel Helwani MMA Show. “There were no holes in my game, plain and simple. I took a year off because of neck surgery. I had three disks replaced in my neck. But I got through camp, 18 weeks and I have never worked harder in my life. I got my hand raised and I dominated. I beat Chuck at his game.”
Tito feels the lack of credit given to him is a bit unfair, as it was Liddell who prompted he call out and got the wheels in motion for the trilogy fight. But in the end, Tito says his first round destruction of the now 48-year old fight veteran proves he never lost it.
“Chuck said so much, that he was going to knock me out, the fans said he was going to knock me out again, that what do I have to prove. I proved that I am a vicious fighter. I proved that I haven’t really lost it,” he added.
“People say, ‘You lost to Chuck twice when you guys were in your prime.’ I wasn’t in my prime. I was only in the game for five years, four years. I was still learning. I’m still learning. I was going through my back problems before my back surgery. There were so many things that I was dealing with. Now that I am healthy, now that I am on point Chuck said he wanted to fight me,” he said.
“He’s the one who called me out and agreed to fight me, kept talking trash saying I’m a tune-up fight. Building it the way he wanted it. And all of a sudden when I smash him the way I did, people says it’s not the Chuck Liddell that he used to be,” concluded the former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight champion.
Ortiz once again retired following the win, and will leave the sport on a two-fight win streak, winning four of his five bouts since leaving UFC back in 2012. As for what’s next for Tito, he plans on remaining in the fight game as a promoter.