IT was the rubber match nobody wanted and nobody asked for. After all, Chuck Lidell had already knocked out Tito Ortiz twice.
And oh, there was also that not so small matter of “The Iceman” Lidell being a few years older than this writer while Ortiz himself is no spring chicken at 43 years of age.
Sure they used to be the biggest names in MMA but that was more than a decade ago.
But anyway, Oscar dela Hoya thought it was worth foraying into the Mixed Martial Arts world for, and so he went on and promoted the fight anyway.
THE FIGHT. It wasn’t much of one, actually. They spent the first minute circling around the ring, glaring at each other.
Tito started landing a couple of jabs while Lidell- who was obviously not in fight shape, kept pawing around like a blind man trying to feel what was in front of him. Tito started stalking him and eventually got to Lidell with about 40 seconds left in the first round by landing a left jab and a right straight.
Lidell crumpled like he had been shot and Tito started celebrating. I guess he felt he finally had his redemption, but it really wasn’t much of a contest.
Not to take away anything away from the “Bad Boy from Huntington Beach,” but it was clearly going to boil down to who was in better shape at this stage of their careers (if there was one), and not necessarily the better fighter.
Some levity was provided when Tito started performing his post-win simulation of digging a grave for his opponent and burying him. The ring officials would have none of that however and it provided for some comic relief when they were all over Tito trying to stop him from completing his victory ritual.
C’mon guys, he waited 12 years for this. Let him have his moment.
LOMA. Today, the best fighter in the world takes centerstage again. Vasyl Lomachenko (11-1, 9KOs) will make his first attempt at unifying titles as he puts his WBA lightweight title on the line against Jose Pedraza who holds the WBO diadem.
Pedraza hails from Puerto Rico and has an impressive record of 25-1, 12KOs.
But expect him to fall like many of Loma’s opponents. It will be interesting for the first three rounds, before Loma takes over and punishes Pedraza with blinding combinations. I predict an easy unanimous decision win for boxing’s reigning pound for pound king.
LAST ROUNDS. Are on PEPC’s stalwarts Norman and Rita Gicale as their lovely daughter Kristhel recently turned 18. Cheers!