Ok, im seriously getting fed up with people asking me for my prediction for this fight, not because I dont have one but because it’s impossible to offer a prediction without explaining the rationale behind it. Having the same conversation over and over again is getting irritating! So it’s a good job, I brought my laptop with me 😉
Chuck Liddell is the current UFC Light Heavyweight champion. Tito Ortiz is the challenger. The first time they fought each other was back in April 2004, and Liddell TKO’d Ortiz in the second round with some brutal stand up. In the world of professional mixed martial arts theres been few rivalries that have captured the imagination of fans, fighters and pundits alike.
I suppose what makes this so interesting for us as spectators is the fact that the two men have very different styles Liddell is considered to be one of the most dangerous stand-up fighters in the world. His fights rarely go the distance, I guess one of the things that makes him so dangerous is his take down defence – very few competitors have ever been able to take him to the ground, which forces them to fight him standing up. For Liddell this fight will be his seventh defence of the title he claimed by beating the legendary Randy Couture – who for me was one of the greatest champions ever!
Tito Ortiz enters the fights on the back of an impressive winning streak; included amongst this list are his two victories against Ken Shamrock which finally ended their longstanding feud. Ortiz is an excellent wrestler who practically reinvented the technique we now refer to as Ground-n-Pound. On the ground, inside his opponents guard, there is no-one more vicious – I think he practically invented the short-elbow.
This is really the briefest of possible introductions to these two fighters, in fact I doubt that I’ve done them any justice. However the intro serves to illustrate the differences in the styles.
OK so here’s my prediction If the fighters remain on their feet I dont have any doubt that Liddell will win this. I think Ortiz is a competent striker but I just dont think he can stand up to the punches and kicks that Liddell will throw. With Liddell it isnt just the freakish power he has behind his blows, its the incredible speed and accuracy with which he can deliver them that makes him so exciting to watch. Liddell’s take-down defence is exceptional, which will make it all the more difficult for Tito. On the other hand Tito is a fantastic wrestler and I think he will have learnt from their first encounter. I hope he tries to avoid the stand up and focuses on getting Liddell in the clinch and taking him down to the ground – which I think Tito is capable of doing.
If I have to pick a winner it would be Liddell. I think he’s got too many advantages going for him in this one
Whatever the result theres a load of us here in Europe who’ll be watching this fight, and who knows we might be seeing a new champion crowned. I’ll write up a post-fight summary.