Chuck Liddell vs Tito Ortiz III Has Turned Into A Trainwreck I Simply Cannot Look Away From
If you were unaware – which you probably were – Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell is coming out of retirement after over eight years on Saturday night to take on (arguably his greatest rival) Tito Ortiz in the main event of Oscar De La Hoya’s first ever MMA show.
Now, I say you were probably unaware of this not because I think you’re some kinda idiot living under a rock, but because I think some kinda idiot bottled up all of the promotion they were supposed to do for this fight and shoved it under a rock.
It started out as something that I didn’t believe would ever happen, even when it was officially announced. How could a commission possibly approve of it, taking into account Chuck’s brain damage? And Oscar De La Hoya was behind it? Neither Chuck or Tito was guaranteed a dollar, and their entire purse would be based on pay-per-view buys? Just seemed too dumb to be true! I wrote:
I feel like it has the potential to be some kinda weird gimmicky disaster, and that’s the whole intrigue of this fight for me. It’s Kimbo/Dada. It’s Shamrock/Gracie III. It’s Stallone/De Niro. Put it in a ring, one of those half ring/half cage things, put it in a box or something, I don’t know. Maybe a plexiglass box thrown into shark-infested waters. Just do something to make sure we don’t all fall asleep during this one.
For a few months (July 2nd was the date the above quote was published), it didn’t look like we were getting that at all. No gimmick-y bullshit…and seemingly no disaster. Just sort of a slow, quiet, but peaceful death, I suppose? Everybody in the entire world forgot this was even happening, essentially.
Every now and then we’d be reminded of it when Tito Ortiz would say something dumb…
Or Chuck Liddell would post a really sad, lethargic workout video that’d garner the attention of concerned fans worldwide…
But outside of those scenarios, it was as if nothing was done to promote this fight. They released a shitty poster, I guess, which the image at the top of this blog was taken from, but that was it! Like…the details you’d specifically want to be excluded from marketing this bout as a promoter were the only ones even barely gasping for air as far as interest went.
Now, though – we’ve “finally” made it to fight week, and the disaster is fully unraveling.
Yesterday’s press conference – led by Oscar De La Hoya himself – may go down as the most awkward, uncomfortable, and cringeworthy presser NOT in the history of mixed martial arts, not in combat sports, not in sports…just in history.
Here’s the full video, courtesy of our friends at TheMacLife, but I will warn you – it’s near impossible to get through.
Here is the TL;DR version:
Always tough when you’ve gotta speak about the accomplishments and legacy of Chuck Liddell but have absolutely zero idea how to pronounce his name. Afterwards, the competitors in the main event did their final rounds of media, and a few interesting things came of that.
For one, when asked about how Oscar De La Hoya was doing as a mixed martial arts promoter, being this is his first time, Chuck Liddell just said “He’s doing his best!” through dead eyes.
Next, Tito Ortiz claimed responsibility for the idea to put icicles on Chuck’s iconic fight shorts.
Which is like…why???
That’s not even good trash talk or dirt if it’s true. Nobody gives a fuck who’s idea that was. You just gave him a cool idea once? Cool man!
And then, finally, my personal favorite moment came when Ortiz was asked how he thought the PPV numbers would be. He answered…
“To be a real success, a low number is 200. I mean, that’s shooting super low. If me and Chuck do 200,000 pay-per-view buys, we shouldn’t even be in the business.”
Which – excuse me…
Watch the clip linked in Aaron Bronsteter’s tweet too, please, because I want you to see how earnestly and honestly Tito Ortiz believes that TWO-HUNDRED-THOUSAND pay-per-view buys would be a low number for this event.
Now, watch the clip linked in this tweet, where Aaron asks Oscar De La Hoya the same question…
“Well, I mean – 200,000, 300,000, 400,000 is a no brainer given the fact they’ve been involved in huge events over at the UFC.”
Tito, Golden Boy…Chuck, you too, because you’re also probably about to be blindsided by this with ‘em – I’m going to need you to sit down.
Two, three, four-hundred-thousand pay-per-view buys for you guys on Saturday night is not a no brainer. And Tito, you’re right, you shouldn’t be in the business. Nobody, and I mean nobody, knows that this fight is happening on Saturday. Most of the people reading this blog are learning about it for the first time here. Look at the responses I got when I tweeted about this earlier:
…and those that do know about the fight, do not care about the fight! Look!
CHUCK LIDDELL IS COMING OUT OF RETIREMENT AND FIGHTING TITO ORTIZ FOR THE THIRD TIME ON SATURDAY NIGHT!!!
Chael Sonnen posted the below video last night, asking fans who saw Liddell and Ortiz close out their trilogy “last weekend” who was victorious, because he had no idea to watch it…
…and that was probably the single best piece of marketing the event received! This blog a close second!
Liddell/Ortiz III is probably going to do somewhere below thirty-thousand pay-per-view buys, these guys are going to all permanently turn into Mr Krabs dizzy memes, and the book written about this colossal failure afterwards, explaining the fallout of it all will be worth more than the show itself. To put that into perspective, most Rough N Rowdy pay-per-views we put on – at the same pricepoint – do about forty-thousand pay-per-view buys. And we don’t have Chuck Liddell or Tito Ortiz. We have Dave and Dan…on commentary. So yeah…
Chuck Liddell vs Tito Ortiz III has turned into a trainwreck that I simply cannot look away from.