It had taken a long time for the two to finally meet in the Octagon. Ortiz said it was due to their past friendship, that they'd made a pact not to fight. Liddell had a different story and said no such pact existed. He had no problem fighting Ortiz.
Some thought the fight lost a little of it's luster because both men were coming off losses. Ortiz came into the fight at 10-3 having just lost the UFC Light heavyweight title to Randy Couture at UFC 44 some six months prior. And Liddell was 13-3 thanks to being TKO'd by Quinton Jackson in the PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix Semifinals in November of '03. Few were considering the previous losses however when the men climbed into the UFC Octagon four years ago tonight.
Before they were able to fight though the rest of the UFC 47 card played out, and it was a great one! The always entertaining Japanese star Genki Sudo got the night started by scoring a triangle armbar submission. Then the next four fights offered some big names and bigger (T)KO's. Jonathan Wiezorek, Mike Kyle, Nick Diaz, and Andrei Arlovski in that order all stopped their opponents. The sixth fight saw a close decision go to Yves Edwards over Hermes Franca. In the seventh Chris Lytle submitted Tiki Ghosn with a bulldog choke, and then there was Ortiz and Liddell.
The men went back and fourth in round one with "Big" John McCarthy eyeing the action. As the round ended Ortiz wanted more and even pushed McCarthy out of the way to get at Chuck. The two exchanged words and apparently they lit a fire under Liddell. In round two he came out swinging and dropped Ortiz in route to the TKO victory. It wasn't without controversy; Ortiz said Chuck's thumb inadvertently poked his eye making it so he was temporarily blind. Eventually they fought again and again Liddell scored a TKO.
That night four years ago offered a great night of fights and now tonight with the landscape of MMA in rapid evolution, it's on once again with another great card in Ultimate Fight Night 13. None of the participants are the same as UFC 47, but the event looks to be stacked with exciting match ups. We can only hope this April 2nd card will be as exciting as the one on April 2, 2004.
For more Days in MMA History plus build up to tonight's UFC Fight Night 13, visit Sports by the Numbers MMA.