Review: UFC 43 – Randy Couture Vs. Chuck Liddell Part I

Though I’d been following the UFC for about a year through newsletters and the Internet, I hadn’t bought a PPV until UFC 43. I was a big Chuck Liddell fan, mostly because my co-worker Jeremiah Miller was a college buddy of Chuck’s. He gave me a signed poster that I still have today and I’ve been a big Liddell fan since. Jeremiah was even named in Chuck’s biography.

I remember buying this show mostly because my then wife was out of town on business and I had two toddlers to watch all weekend. When they went to sleep, I didn’t really have anything to do and figured that because I was a young dad home alone with his two young boys, I deserved to spend some money on an event. But also, I expected Chuck Liddell to win the interim light heavyweight championship in his match with Randy Couture and I wanted to see it happen. Let’s just say that I wasn’t a happy Chuck fan that night.

Couture wasn’t necessarily a set up for Liddell that night, but the fight was there for Chuck to win. Couture was a former heavyweight champion, but he was 38 years old and people were saying that he was now over the hill. He dieted down to make the 205 lb weight limit and looked to have nearly zero body fat. The reason Randy and Chuck were fighting rather than Chuck and Tito Ortiz (who was the champion at the time) was because Ortiz bailed on the fight. After beating Ken Shamrock (which was actually the first UFC PPV I ever saw), Tito seemed noncommittal about fighting Chuck after pretty much saying that he had to take care of Shamrock first and then he’d be ready. When push came to shove, Tito wasn’t there so Dana White and company decided to put Liddell in there with Couture to determine the interim champ. And then, Ortiz would have to face the winner.

Continue reading

Randy Couture vs. Chuck Liddell – Do We Need To See This Again?

Though Randy Couture hasn’t signed quite signed the dotted line with the UFC (as far as we know), the hot story around the MMA world is his possible comeback to the UFC. The big match that’s been speculated about is a November fight in Portland, Oregon against Brock Lesnar.

But there’s another fight that was bandied about back and forth and that was a fourth match against Chuck Liddell in a legend vs. legend of sorts. Liddell holds the edge in against Couture in their three match-ups with two wins to Randy’s one.

Randy Couture With David Marmet Courtesy Of David Shankbone

Their first bout was held at UFC 43 and it was fight for the interim light heavyweight championship. Tito Ortiz refused to face Liddell for the money that was being offered, and rather than wait for Ortiz, the UFC put Liddell, who was the number one contender, into the octagon against Couture, the former heavyweight champion who was coming off consecutive losses to Ricco Rodriguez and Josh Barnett. Liddell was the hottest star and the money was supposed to be in Tito and Chuck fighting for the undisputed title. Couture showed everyone how to beat Liddell in that fight. He got inside of Liddell’s comfort zone, forced the fight on him, and won by TKO. It was an amazing performance.

Continue reading