Tito Ortiz, 43, Knocks Out Chuck Liddell, 48, in Golden Boy MMA Inaugural Event

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A day after two struggling past-their-prime legends dueled on the
golf course in Las Vegas on pay-per-view, two
Ultimate Fighting Championship
hall of famers fought for what
many observers hope will be the last time.

Tito
Ortiz
finally exacted some revenge against archrival Chuck
Liddell
in the
inaugural main event for Golden Boy MMA
on Saturday at The
Forum in Inglewood, California, and he closed out “The Iceman” in
vicious and unsettling fashion. Ortiz (20-12-1) took his time to
feel out the 48-year-old Liddell at the start, but once he saw an
opening to capitalize, he ended the fight.

Liddell (21-9) looked ancient inside the cage, as he stumbled and
fumbled while trying to strike, his once-awesome striking prowess
and speed long extinct. “The Iceman” never landed any of his
vaunted power shots against Ortiz but instead threw passive punches
here and there. Once he unleashed the best combination he could
muster, Liddell fell back into the cage and left himself
vulnerable. Ortiz slammed a right hand onto his face, knocking him
cold. Liddell fell face first to the canvas, and “The Huntington
Beach Bad Boy” followed him, landing three more punches before
referee Herb Dean could
pull him off 4:24 into Round 1.

It had been 14 years since the two light heavyweight legends first
met inside the Octagon, but more importantly, it had been eight
long years since Liddell had fought. It marked the fourth straight
time Liddell had been knocked out. It was Ortiz’s second
consecutive win but his first since he submitted Chael Sonnen
in January 2017.

Accomplished wrestler Deron Winn
continued to impress, as he dominated longtime veteran Tom Lawlor
for three rounds in a light heavyweight tussle. Winn brutalized
“Filthy Tom’s” face for the first two rounds, using solid boxing
while opening cuts under both eyes. Lawlor never managed to find a
rhythm offensively, and Winn made it worse in the third with a pair
of easy takedowns. Lawlor (10-7) threatened with a guillotine in
the final round, but Winn was too savvy to be tapped. In the end,
Winn won the verdict via tallies of 30-27 across the board to
improve to 5-0.

UFC veteran Gleison
Tibau
went to war with Efrain
Escudero
(30-14) for three rounds and came out with his hand
raised in victory. Tibau (34-14) rocked “The Ultimate Fighter 8”
winner with multiple punches in the first round, only to be wobbled
by return fire from his foe in the second. However, the Brazilian
landed the harder blows in the final frame and scored a late
takedown to seal the win. All three cageside judges favored Tibau
by a 29-28 margin.

Ricky
Palacios
was disappointed with his performance against Walel
Watson
but still shined in their 140-pound catchweight
encounter. “El Gallero” rocked Watson twice with overhand rights to
the head early in their showdown and then finished his counterpart
moments later. Palacios (11-1) sent “The Gazelle” sprawling across
the cage with a right to the head and then nearly knocked him out
with a follow-up right-left combo. As Watson (14-12) crumbled to
the canvas and attempted to rise to his feet, the Texan slammed his
right shin into Watson’s head, knocking him out. Referee Frank Trigg
immediately intervened, ending the drubbing at 3:56 of the first
round.

Bantamweight contender James
Barnes
improved to 11-4 with a dominant performance against
Albert
Morales
. Barnes scored multiple takedowns and unleashed solid
ground-and-pound for nearly three rounds before authoring a late
finish. Barnes moved to mount and slid into an armbar, eventually
forcing Morales (7-5-1) to tap. The end came at the 4:09 mark of
Round 3.

Heavyweight journeyman Jay Silva
wailed away at Mexico’s Oscar Cota
with punches to the head and knees to the belly before netting the
victory with a submission. After Cota (10-2) had points taken for
repeated knees to the groin and putting his fingers in Silva’s
glove, “Da Spyda Killa” locked in an arm-triangle choke from mount.
Referee Mike Beltran thought Cota had gone to sleep and ended it at
2:13 of the third round, though Cota protested the stoppage. Silva,
a Brazilian fighting out of California, improved to 12-12 with the
win.





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