On November 24, former UFC light heavyweight champs Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz will meet for a third time. The pair will collide in the main event of the first mixed martial arts offering from Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions.
Given the fact that Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz are both believed to be years out of their respective primes, there has been some widespread doubt that this fight will be a financial success. De La Hoya, however, assures things are going well.
Speaking to MMAjunkie recently, the retired boxer and long-time promoter divulged that tickets are selling well, which usually implies a successful pay-per-view too.
“The price points are perfect for this type of fight, and fans are coming out and supporting it,” De La Hoya said. “Everywhere I go, they don’t talk to me about the boxing cards I’m putting on. They talk about Canelo or Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz.”
“And guess what, the profits are going to be for Chuck and Tito,” De La Hoya added. “That’s exactly the way it’s structured. We feel that the gate being 70 percent sold, once you sell out the gate, the pay-per-view numbers are going to be relatively high.
“Every boxing show that I’ve promoted, you have to start with the gate. Once you sell out the gate, the pay-per-view numbers will be higher than expected.”
If this upcoming MMA card turns out favorably, Oscar De La Hoya says he will be hard-pressed not to promote more MMA events in the future — perhaps even with DAZN, the streaming service that recently inked a deal with his star boxer Canelo Alvarez.
“Once this fight card takes place, I’m going to have some serious talks with John Skipper,” De La Hoya said of the DAZN executive. “If I’m serious about promoting future MMA cards, I’m very positive and certain DAZN will back us 100 percent.
“I want to see how (Nov. 24) turns out. I want to see if the card turns out good. I want to see what the PPV numbers are. I want to see if Chuck and Tito were happy the way I promoted them. And then we’ll take it from there.”
The 48-year-old Chuck Liddell has not fought since June of 2010, when he was knocked out by Rich Franklin in what was supposed to be his final fight. In his next most recent fights, Liddell was knocked out by Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Rashad Evans, both of whom went on to become UFC light heavyweight champions. Chuck Liddell, who holds wins over Wanderlei Silva, Ortiz (twice), Randy Couture (twice), Renato “Babalu” Sobral (twice), Alistair Overeem, Murilo Bustamante, Kevin Randleman and many others, is 21-8 overall.
The 43-year-old Tito Ortiz, meanwhile, has been active much more recently. His last fight occurred in January of 2017, when scored a first-round submission of Chael Sonnen in a bout that he claimed would be his last. In his next most recent fight, he was submitted by then Bellator light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary. This loss was preceded by consecutive wins over Alexander Shlemenko and Stephan Bonnar. Tito Ortiz, who has bested fighters like Ryan Bader, Ken Shamrock (three times), Evan Tanner, Wanderlei Silva, and Guy Mezger, is 19-12-1 overall.
Liddell and Ortiz have fought twice before. Liddell won both encounters by stoppage.
How do you think this first MMA card from Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions will turn out?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/13/2018.