MMA legends Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell face-off for the third time this weekend, twelve years since their last meeting. Liddell won the first two bouts, but very few people are currently expecting him to go the distance this time. An Ortiz victory is currently priced at 4/11 with William Hill and 1/3 at Paddy Power. Liddell is being offered at 2/1.
If anything, Liddell’s odds are surprisingly short. When Derrick Lewis, a knockout artist at the peak of his power, faced Heavyweight Champ Daniel Cormier earlier in the month, his odds of victory were priced at 4/1. Though Cormier is a future Hall of Famer, Lewis has been known to cause problems for all kinds of fighters.
Liddell, on the other hand, has not been seen in the octagon since 2010 when he retired at the urging of UFC President and close friend Dana White. His powers had clearly been declining for some time — his last three fights ended in him being knocked out — and there is little evidence to suggest that he has been doing anything in the intervening 8 years to turn that around.
Ortiz though has stayed active and recently scored an impressive victory over Chael Sonnen in the Bellator promotion. Despite losing to Ortiz, Sonnen is not a fan of the upcoming contest and questions its relevance.
Tito Ortiz HAS BEEN a world champion. Chuck Liddell HAS BEEN one of the most feared fighters in mixed martial arts. The most important fact I’ve mentioned here is that both are HAS BEENS.
— Chael Sonnen (@ChaelSonnen) November 23, 2018
Saturday’s event is the first to be put on by Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, which has previously confined its activities to the world of boxing.
Whilst there is considerable scepticism that the fight will live up to De La Hoya’s hype, some fans are hoping that these once great athletes turn back the clock, for one evening at least.