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Tito Ortiz vs Chuck Liddell - It's on (again)
Chuck Liddell vs Tito Oriz - It's on (again)
Call me crazy, most people do, but I think Chuck Liddell is going to have a lot of trouble on December 30, 2006 when he faces Tito Ortiz for the second time.
A little history first.
On April 2, 2004, Tito Ortiz faced Chuck Liddell in the UFC octagon for the first time. It was supposed to be a war to end all wars, entitled "It's On!" (i.e. it's finally on), making reference to how long fans had to wait to finally see this match up. If memory serves me correctly, it was two years between when Chuck was considered the #1 contender and when we finally got to see the fight.
I was at the 2004 fight, 0 seats which didn't put me on the floor, but I was awfully close. It was a fantastic event, I've never been to a sporting event like it. There were about 10,000 people there, but it sounded like 50,000. There was so much energy and 99% of the people there were hard core fans, really into the fights. The fans that night were split about 50/50 with who they were rooting for.
In the end, Chuck knocked Tito out early in the second round. Tito never did mount an offence and for some reason decided to stand and trade punches with Chuck instead of taking him to the mat. He says he was trying to prove something, I think it was just a bad game plan, derived loosly from Randy Couture's victory over chuck previous to this (Randy also traded punches, and won...worth noting that Randy has lost to Chuck twice since then, both by knock out).
So, what makes me think things will be different this time. Age, maturity, complacency, courage, cardio, experience and
You see, both fighters are 2 1/2 years older. The difference being that Tito will be 31 vs Chuck's 37. Anyone over 40 will tell you that there is a much bigger difference between 35 and 37 than there is between 29 and 31. Chucks a great athlete and champion, but we all slow down sometime.
Again, we are not talking absolutes here, but relative. Relative to the fight 2 1/2 years ago, I think Tito has matured more than Chuck. He's had time off to reflect, changes in his personal life and he still trains like he's 25.
I'm not even sure what that means, but if it means what I think it means, Chuck's gotta be it. He's won easily in his last few outings, hardly breaking a sweat. That's gotta mess with your head.
Hey, lets be serious here. Tito was a little afraid of Chuck the first time around, but let me tell you something. Any man who's willing to step into the bedroom with Jenna Jameson should have no trouble facing Chuck Liddell.
Anyone who watch the Ulitmate Fighter season 3 knows that Tito is a cardio freak. Nobody trains cardio like Tito. On the other hand, while Chuck is a great fighter, he hasn't been pushed for a very long time (since his first fight with Randy).
I'm talking recent experience here. Tito's simply gone more rounds than Chuck in recent fights. Although, maybe that's not quite true...his last two fights with Ken Shamrock didn't even amount to a single round. Ok, this ones a non-issue.
If Tito comes out with the same strategy as last time, I'll write him off for good. It was flawed when Tito used it last time and things won't change if he uses it again. On the other hand, if Tito is committed to making Chuck work, even if it's repeatedly trying to avoid takedowns, at some point Tito's superior cardio will take over.
So there you have it, my final prediction, Tito Ortiz by ref stoppage.
Could I be wrong?
Of course I could, if the fight doesn't make it to the 3rd round, or Tito can't take him down, then it's Chucks to win. If it goes 3 rounds or deeper, I'll take Tito for sure. Also, if Tito can put Chuck on his back, then I'll take Tito.
One thing is for certain, I'll be watching the fight on December 30th, on the edge of my seat!
About the Author: John is a huge MMA fan. Check out his MMA web sites below:
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