In a week’s time, UFC Hall-of-Famers Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz will be facing each other for a third time. “The Iceman,” so far, holds two wins over “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy”, but was the more inactive fighter since his retirement in 2010.
Liddell’s training for the upcoming fight has been made public through videos, and it can be said that age has taken effect on the 48-year-old former UFC champion. And based on what he had seen himself, Ortiz was led to believe that his opponent may be sandbagging to put out an impression that he had slowed down immensely.
“I think he’s sandbagging,” Ortiz said during Monday’s open workouts (via MMAjunkie). “I think he’s sandbagging in the fact that I don’t think he’s that slow. I hope he’s not that slow. It’s going to be a short night for him if he’s that slow.”
It is a belief that Ortiz’s boxing coach Jason Parillo also shares.
“I know he puts out some of it – we see a little training footage and some of it looks a little hoax-y, in my opinion,” Parillo told MMAFighting.com’s Marc Raimondi in an exclusive interview. “Sometimes, I think he’s playing a little bit of possum, or maybe he’s going full board.
“Either way, Chuck’s a fighter. Not that he’s not an athletic man. He’s strong, but he’s a fighter. The guy’s got a fighter mentality, and he goes out and he tries to kick your ass. That’s the guy we’re getting ready for.”
Liddell’s last three fights ended via devastating knockout stoppages, putting his chin into question. Parillo, however, is not taking anything for granted.
“Do we think that he’s added some tricks and some tools to his bag of tricks? I don’t know,” he said. “How much can you really add? If there is such a thing as ring rust, which some people believe and some people don’t, my guess is he’s gonna feel a little bit of it.
“With the age, I don’t know how the skin and is gonna hold up and how (his chin) is gonna hold up, because I know that he’s been hurt quite a few times in his last couple of fights before his comeback, so we’ll see. We’re just training for the best Chuck Liddell that we’ve ever seen.”
Liddell and Ortiz will face each other on November 24th at the Forum in California, under Golden Boy Promotions.