Tito Ortiz fights arch rival Chuck Liddell in a trilogy match later this year for Golden Boy Promotions’ MMA debut event. The offshore sportsbooks recently released the opening odds for this third fight between the two legends, and here they are.
MMA Futures Opening Odds
Tito Ortiz -180
Chuck Liddell +140
And here are my thoughts on the opening odds for Ortiz vs. Liddell 3:
I honestly never thought we would see a third fight between these two elder statemens of MMA, but its 2018 and here we are, as Ortiz and Liddell will headline boxing/MMA promoter’s Oscar De La Hoya’s first foray into the world of mixed martial arts. Ortiz and Liddell previously fought twice, with Liddell knocking out Ortiz both times, first at UFC 48 in 2004 and second at UFC 66 in 2006. The two were supposd to meet again at UFC 115 in 2010 but Ortiz pulled out with an injury and Liddell instead fought Rich Franklin, suffering a KO loss and retiring soon after.
Ortiz (19-12-1) is now 43 and he retired for the second time last year after submitting Chael Sonnen at Bellator 170. After flaming out in the UFC with a 1-7-1 record, Ortiz retired following a decision loss to Forrest Griffin at UFC 148 in 2012, only to return to Bellator two years later in 2014. Ortiz actually had quite a bit of success in Bellator as he went 3-1 with wins over Sonnen, Alexander Shlemenko and Stephan Bonnar with his lone loss to Liam McGeary, who at the time was the champion. But after leaving his gloves in the cage against Sonnen, we all though that was it for “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy.” Think again, though, as the riches of a pay-per-view trilogy bout against Liddell have lure him out of retirement for a third time.
Liddell (21-8) is now 48 and he hasn’t fought since that brutal KO against Franklin nearly a decade ago now. Liddell has not won a fight since a decision win over Wanderlei Silva in 2007 and overall he lost five of his last six fights, including four brutal KO losses to Franklin, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Rashad Evans and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. UFC president Dana White forced Liddell to retire and gave him a job with the UFC, but after WME-IMG took over Liddell lost his job and now that he’s a free agent he decided to make a comeback to MMA. Honestly, this is not a fight that should be happening as both men are two veterans who have suffered numerous career-threatening injuries and taken tons of damage in their careers, but it’s their choice to fight and the commissions are apparently clearing both guys to fight.
While Liddell won the first two bouts, you can’t discount the fact he’s nearing 50 years of age now and he hasn’t fought in over a decade. As good as Liddell once was, his chin just isn’t there anymore and he can’t take a punch. He might look good physically but if Ortiz clocks him on the chin can he survive? I don’t know. At least for Ortiz he has been somewhat active and even successful in Bellator. Liddell has historically been a bad matchup for Ortiz but at his age how can you bet on him? Then again, how can you bet on Ortiz considering Liddell has already knocked him out twice? It will be interesting to see how the betting line moves for this bout in the coming weeks and months. Right now, Ortiz is the popular choice of early bettors but you have to assume some action will come back in on Liddell at some point. I’m going to be curious to see how the bettors move this line.