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UFC 66: Liddell vs. Ortiz 2
Saturday, December 30, 2006
MGM Grand Garden Arena
Las Vegas, Nevada

By Stephen Quadros, “The Fight Professor”


Chuck Liddell (Champion)

Vs.

Tito Ortiz (Challenger)

UFC Light-Heavyweight Championship Match 
Chuck Liddell (champion) vs. Tito Ortiz (challenger)

Rematch®…
Jenna Jameson…

"At UFC 52 Chuck Liddell became light-heavyweight champion…right after he started using Xyience."
-Xyience commercial during Ultimate Fight Night, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2006

OK, now that we have that stuff out of the way, let’s talk about the things that may actually be pertinent to this particular main event…

Chuck had Tito’s number in their first match and blasted “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” into oblivion with a second round knockout. So what’s changed since then? Well “The Iceman” continued to sharpen his sword with two revenge KOs over Randy Couture, along with brutal stoppages over Jeremy Horn and Renato Sobral.

Tito on the other hand barely made it by Vitor Belfort and Forrest Griffin), both via split decision, with many a fan still complaining about the judges’ eyesight in both cases, and a ‘unanimous’ decision against then newcomer and puffed up middleweight Patrick Cote (that’s the guy Travis Lutter submitted in The Ultimate Fighter season 4 finale). Oh, I almost forgot…Tito did stop Ken Shamrock twice also, for what that is worth…

Honestly, this match will basically turn out exactly like the first one. Ortiz was never in a league with Liddell in terms of standup striking. And no matter how many pads he hits, how many world champions urge him on or scream at him in training or how much Xyience he drinks, smokes or injects, that fact has not and will not change. Wrestling? Well…most people regard Chuck as the better in that department too.

So just how can Ortiz win? Answer: “if” Chuck takes him lightly, doesn’t come in 100% shape and let’s the fame of being a dominant champion and known personality (“celebrity”) distract him. Realistically, if that were going to happen it would have happened by now. But Chuck, through his own iron will, along with the twisted coaching of John Hackleman, seems like the most bankable commodities in the consistency department.

We will see exactly how this match will shape up in the first 30 seconds, if not less. Tito has been relatively quiet in his pre-fight banter and interviews. That bodes well for him it that we will see the best and most focused Ortiz possible. But Tito Ortiz will still get knocked out by Chuck Liddell…again.

On a side note: it would better for the UFC marketing machine if Tito wins because it would set up another (yawn, hey, I thought this stuff was supposed to be unpredictable?) rematch®/trilogy.

 

Keith Jardine

Vs.

Forrest Griffin

UFC Lightweight Title Fight

This will be a good fight in terms of “action.” If you want to see two guys beat the living…(ahem) daylights out of each other, this is your match. Jardine likes the low kick and Griffin loves to punch, so the contest will be decided on whose body part gives out first, Keith’s chin or Forrest’s lead leg. Oh, did I mention The Ultimate Fighter TV show…? One more thing: Jardine’s nickname is “The Dean of Mean.”

Andrei Arlovski

Vs.

Marcio Cruz

The UFC’s “other” heavyweight, Andrei "Pit Bull" (grrr…) Arlovski, should be able to use his speed, striking and movement to take apart lumbering 6-time jiu-jitsu world champion Marcio Cruz.

And then…Arlovski must face Tim Sylvia on a weekly basis in the new reality TV show “The Tim and Andrei Show,” also know as “USA vs. Russia (Belarus, whatever) after your third beer… Calm down, I was joking.

Jason McDonald

Vs.

Chris Leben

Jason “The Athlete” MacDonald has been rapidly improving every aspect of his game and may be peaking at the right time. Coming off a dramatic triangle choke submission victory over Chris “The Crippler” Leben’s Team Quest stablemate Ed Herman, Jason has thrown down the gauntlet. And MacDonald should be considered a slight favorite in what will turn out to be a candidate for fight of the night. 
 
Eric Schafer

Vs.

Michael Bisping

Eric "Ravishing Red" Schafer will be in deep waters with a potent Michael "The Count" Bisping. Bisping is on the rise, like an English version of Brandon Vera, and will be VERY hard to beat, especially here.