Was the knockout victory of Tito Ortiz over Chuck Liddell really sadder than the rest of the human bloodshed we see in professional struggles? And if so, why? Retired UFC and WEC fighter Danny Downs joined columnist MMAjunkie Ben Fowlx to discuss commercial recordings this week.
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Downs: Last night was the beginning of the era of the Golden Boy, Ben. The main event of the night was the fight with the trilogy between Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz.
And just as you can expect free quotes from Fred Loja Insurance, Lidell-Ortiz III went exactly as we thought we would. Ortiz finished with reduced Iceman by knockout in the first round.
I'm sure you're ready to get on the soap and not give up on how terrible the event is. I do not want to say that it was not a little sad to see Liddell go there and give up, but was worse than any of the dozens of other knockout we've seen over the years?
Once the event was over, people quickly condemned it, but why? You said in the past that you are on board with a kind of "legends tour" putting aging fighters from the past against each other. What's the big deal? Will people squeeze their pearls if Ortiz fell on her face last night?
John Jones never responded to Chuck Liddell's remarks again after the loss of Tito Ortiz
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Tito Ortiz ready to move from Chuck Liddell, struggling for a trilogy knockout victory – or is he?
Fowlkes: You are right to ask why this was sadder than the other knockouts we are witnessing for each average weekend in MMA. But, come on – I also think you already know why.
Back when they were in two glorious days, Ortiz could not touch Liddell. In two UFC struggling the only thing he did better than Liddell was bleeding. If they completed the trilogy when they were originally scheduled, as early as 2010, that trend is likely to continue. Instead, they did it now when Liddell was damned near 50 years old and was removed from his last fight with MMA for eight years.
Time has made Liddell easy for Ortiz. The horrors of the aging process were the biggest factor in this struggle. That's what's really sad about it, because we all know that time comes for each of us. Here's what looks, and it's not nice.
You can not tell me you saw it and I felt good about nothing. You are not. I know you are not. But – and here is the real question – does that mean that the struggle itself should not have happened? Did we all – fighters, promoters, fans, media – have done a bad job by playing our roles in this? Or is the fight game supposed to make you sad sometimes, perhaps by keeping it a bit too realistic to be comfortable?
Downs: I will not lie and I will say that it did not make me a little uncomfortable to see "The Iceman" going on last night, but I'm also old enough to realize that just because something makes me sad, t means you do not have to there is. If this was the case, the movie "Up" will be locked and you will be banned from Twitter.
As a consequence of the fight, people quickly blame Goldman, the California State Athletic Committee and a whole lot of others. As Ortiz could say, "20/20 is retrospective", but you should never look back in anger because you are the one who has to deal with the man in the mirror.
In August, CSAC CEO Andy Foster explained why he planned to approve Liddell to fight. Look at that. How do you challenge any of his points? I mean, it's not like they put a legend on the 40th versus the 29-year-old star that is growing. Who would have been so careless?
I'm glad you presented the fact that Liddell was "an easy choice" for Ortiz. I think that many reactions come from the fact that many people (at least those who took care of this fight) still dislike Ortiz. That's how they have an interest in Ortiz never to beat Lidl. Who cares if Ortiz thinks they are now and now? Just let the man enjoy the Limp Bizkit albums in peace.
We have already talked about this, but the main element of the FMA fandom involves constant attempts to alleviate guilt. It's not unique to MMA fans (NFL fans have similar tendencies), but it gets stronger during events like Liddell-Ortiz 3. I'm not over the same drives. That's why I sometimes buy cattle from grass. I think that the cow was erected with the sole purpose of killing, but at least enjoyed the grass!
Why can not we just enjoy this sport? Last night was unlucky to see. We can be sad, and then to know that no one should give him another fight to Lidl. What other choice does it have?
Fowlkes: Ooh, I have an idea, what if we gave him a good, non-zero corporate job in return for retirement? Wait, no, I was told that it has already been tried and it brought us here. It also came after the last time we decided that no one should give another fight to Lidl.
I do not know if people dislike Ortiz as much as it feels like cheap here with the help of the Father. They remember Liddell for being the Man during a golden era for MMA. And one of the ways he cemented himself as a Man was the victory over Ortiz twice, in a decisive way.
For Ortiz to crawl and pick it from a herd now that he is old and frail, he may feel disturbing, but without a real sense of meaning.
What you can not do is at the same time claim that people do not have to worry, but also to go back and enjoy the sport. Part of the enjoyment in sports takes care of such crap. Part of what we get out of this experience is to allow ourselves to be emotionally invested so that we can be hurt by the outcome of other people's fighting.
That does not mean that it should not have been allowed. I can not disagree with any of Andy Foster's points in explaining why he licensed it. I also can not say that each of us deserves to walk today and to feel good about what we have seen. But then, if you can not stop feeling unsightly about your own habits of habits and hobbies sometimes, maybe this is not a sport for you.
For more information about "Golden Boy MMA: Liddell vs. Ortiz", check out the MMA events section of the page.
Ben Fowlkes is MMAjunkie and MIA columnist of the US DENES. Dani Downs, retired UFC and WEC fighter, is a MMAjunkie contributor who also wrote for UFC.com and UFC 360. Follow them on Twitter on @benfowlkesMMA and @dannyboydownes.