Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz. “The Iceman” vs. “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy.” Two of the most prominent faces in UFC history. Two of the most decorated fighters and champions to ever grace the Octagon. Former friends. Now enemies. We’ve all heard stories of what happened between the two, but now it’s told by them and the people closest to them.
UFC Bad Blood: Liddell vs. Ortiz takes a look at the rivalry between the two men who helped the UFC grow to where it is today.
Right off the bat you can tell the difference between the two men and why they’ve had their differences over the years. Appearing on camera, Ortiz is surrounded by his championship belts and trophies, 500 “Punishment Athletics” banners and signs, in his SUV, and even does part of his interview from a nice boat while fishing. Liddell on the other hand sits nears a fire pit, in the barbershop, and on a massage table for his segments.
Ortiz likes to live the lavish life and loves to promote himself and his brand. Liddell likes to live the simple life.
That’s the common theme throughout the DVD and a big reason why Liddell and Ortiz had a falling out. Ortiz wanted to be an entertainer and Liddell wanted to be a fighter. Then UFC light heavyweight champion, Ortiz didn’t duck top contender Liddell after UFC 40 because he was afraid of him, he didn’t want the fight to happen because he wanted to make more money than what was being offered at the time. Liddell didn’t care about the money, he just wanted to fight and win the title.
When they fought the first time at UFC 47, after Liddell finished Ortiz with strikes, it seemed like the bad blood was over. The two embraced after the fight and buried the hatchet for the time being. But with Ortiz riding a win streak and Liddell holding the title, it was only a matter of time before the two men met again.
UFC 66 was the big money fight Ortiz wanted “Iceman” vs. “Bad Boy” to be. The event was the first ever UFC PPV to crack the one million buy mark and both men walked away with deeper pockets than ever. It wasn’t the performance Ortiz wanted though, as he once again succumbed to the power of Liddell’s fists.
Scheduled to meet a third time following their coaching stints on The Ultimate Fighter, Ortiz pulled out of the fight, which Liddell but expected, but was still pissed off that it happened. The third fight never happened as Liddell retired following a UFC 115 loss to Rich Franklin.
Watching this DVD as a huge Liddell fan, I couldn’t help but be entertained and excited throughout the entire documentary. Tito is Chuck’s greatest rival because of all the trash talking that went on between the two and yet in both fights, Liddell made it look somewhat easy with his sprawl and brawl technique. It was a great reminder of what Chuck looked like when he was in his prime and on his game.
It’s sort of funny watching the DVD now, because the interviews were taped just after Liddell’s retirement. So Tito was still in a bit of a downward spiral career-wise and Chuck was at peace with his career. The funniest thing about it was just hearing the comments from Dana White, who is now on “Team Tito” thanks to him stepping up and saving the UFC 133 main event. It’s also odd hearing Dana speak about when he was an agent for Liddell and Ortiz, dealing with previous UFC management, to know, when he’s UFC management, dealing with so many agents.
Along with the documentary, which includes plenty of behind the scenes footage and interviews, the DVD also includes both of their fights and the UFC 66 Countdown show, which was probably the best countdown show the company had done at the time.
I can’t say there’s anything groundbreaking on this DVD because longtime fans have heard the stories of and about both men over the years, probably more than once. But if you’re looking for a definitive look at the rivalry, you’re not going to find a better source.
UFC Bad Blood: Liddell vs. Ortiz is in stores today, August 30 on DVD and Blu-Ray.