Somewhere in the world, Dana White's head just exploded.
Less than five years ago, Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell was the brutal KO artist of the UFC. He was held in high regards amongst hardcores and casuals, seemingly underrated by everyone the UFC placed in front of him, except for Randy Couture. But no one's voice echoed louder than Tito Ortiz, seemingly his biggest critic, and in 2010, the world will see what each of these fighters have left.
But, first, let's fast foward to the end of 2009. Tito Ortiz has become a joke amongst casuals and hardcores. Not for his talent, which many do believe he still has, but for his mouth that has overshadowed it. Chuck Liddell's name only pops up every now and then for his past accomplishments, nothing in the last few years. How can this fight possibly sell with two dominant performances from the Iceman, and the third between two people way past their primes?
It shouldn't, it really shouldn't; but it will. This fight alone could sell well over 500,000 PPV buys, even without an undercard. Much money can be made for both fighters. It could be an all time classic. It could be the last time we see either one or both of them inside the octagon. The two biggest names to casuals will meet again in a grudge match, which casuals love, and hardcores play off, but end up ordering anyway. But 2008 and 2009 WAS a big year for both fighters. Why?
Because Chuck is the "gentle neanderthal" that won dance lovers over and made him a hollywood name due to his stint on "Dancing with the Stars". Tito Ortiz was a potential winner of the show "The Apprentice", where you could slowly watch him struggle to not embarress himself on primetime television. But people ate it up. Both shows had high ratings, and not by the usual MMA audience of 18-34. Middle aged women tuned in to watch Tom Delay tango, and watch the judge from America's Got Talent, Pierce Morgan, talk down to b-list celebrities.
But they were exposed a bit to MMA. Chuck Liddell was often on TMZ and Entertainment Tonight, and played it off well. I found many blog websites where people who never game MMA a chance say they fell in love with The Iceman.
Not only are two MMA legends fighting, but the two biggest MMA names outside of MMA will clash for a 3rd time. The drama these two can bring in pre-fight talk, footage from the Ultimate Fighter 11, Tito's rant from UFC 106, both appearing on the wrong side of highlight reels can get Hollywoods attention, easily. Get Tito on the Late Night shows. Get Chuck on Good Morning America. Get Dana White on Oprah. The UFC should do anything in its power to hype this fight to casuals and newcomers. Get their trash talk on Entertainment Tonight. Film Jenna Jameson calling Chuck "washed up" on TMZ. Make this one of the biggest hyped fights in UFC history; and make it free. Fill the rest of the card with very sportsmanlike fighters, let the public see these fighters are not cavemen Donkey Kong punching eachother in the genitals, and trying to eat each others babies. This the UFC's best chance to launch itself into the mainstream. Get the sport legalized in all fifty states.
Who knows, maybe Tito Ortiz will be the best thing to ever happen to Dana White. The loser of the Apprentice vs. The Loser of Dancing with the stars. Is it a good idea?
(My first fan post, and I'm a bit tired so my thoughts are a bit unorganized. My bad! :P )