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MMA / UFC

Ken Shamrock vs. Tito Ortiz 3 -
The Final Chapter

By Cliff Montgomery, ExtremeProSports.com
There are some fighters who simply love fighting each other, like Ken Shamrock and Tito Ortiz. I don't mean they love the thrill of competing against someone who will challenge them; I mean they simply love beating the hell out of one another...

It's personal. Each hopes for brutality, and each truly seems to hope he cripples the other. It's not a contest. It's a war.

That's what the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has in the hate-fest--what else can you call it?--between Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock. They have already fought twice before, and each time the hatred only increased in each man, for each man. On October 10th, 2006, they will fight a third time at UFC Fight Night 7, which will be broadcast live on Spike TV.

It may well be the last bout between the two. Shamrock has stated that he will retire from the UFC after this match, regardless of the outcome.

Is it true? Only Shamrock can say for sure. But that can only help to sell tickets, and drum up interest in the third, and perhaps last, battle of UFC's favorite personal war.

Why are the two fighting again so soon after the second battle? There are a few reasons...

From Shamrock's point of view, the 42-year-old may well have been thinking about retiring from the UFC for awhile. While this is speculation, it's quite possible he'd hoped to use the second fight with Ortiz as his final bow, but that became impossible with the controversy and fan dissatisfaction stemming from the last Shamrock-Ortiz bout. A man like Shamrock surely plans to end his historic UFC career with a bang, and the last match with Ortiz just wasn't it.

The Ortiz position is much easier to assess: if Tito beats Ken in this third match-up, he will be granted a fight against current champion Chuck Liddell for the UFC light heavyweight title.

Besides, there's always extra fan interest--and extra money to be made--when there's a bout between two big fighters who sincerely don't like each other.

If there is one odd thing about this third match, it's the timing. The first Shamrock/Ortiz bout, on 11/22/2002, is now a famous match among UFC fans. Perhaps because of the continuing bad blood--after all, who wants to spend a lot of time in promotions, etc. with a person you hate?--a second match didn't occur for quite a while.

This second fight took place on 07/08/2006. So just a touch over three months after a bout which most people feel didn't match the hype and ended in too screwy a manner, we're going to be served a third dish of a helping many of us feel has already gotten stale.

Don't get me wrong; like any patriotic American, I like watching quarts of blood spilled over petty arguments as much as anyone else. But with the second match still tasting sour in so many mouths, the UFC might have waited a bit on this one. Let the dust settle on this rivalry a bit, let everyone catch their breath. Besides, it might also have been a good idea to let memories fade on the unsatisfactory outcome of that second match...

The time between the first and the second match was surely too long a time; but having a third fight literally months after such a poorly received second bout seems odd to say the least.

Hey, the UFC will make money on this match-up no matter what I say. Besides, it could well be that UFC president Dana White feels that with so much disappointment over the July bout, it's only right to quickly fix the problem with another rematch.

He may well be right. But with this third bout happening on the heels of the second, it's hard to figure out just how or why we'd expect the outcome to be terribly different.

Sure, the third match probably will be settled in a less controversial manner. But without more preparation, it's hard to believe that anything other than another one-sided victory for Tito Ortiz will happen this time around.

An admission: while I don't think an aging Ken will normally have much of a chance against Ortiz anymore, I would like to see these two each have a chance to show their real mettle against the other. I'd like to see Shamrock go out with a touch of glory and a glint still in his eye, not on his back getting the shit kicked out him by a man much younger and much more hungry for the game. And I'd like to see Ortiz truly challenged by his true rival, even if Tito probably will come out on top.

Or maybe I just hope this bout finally delivers what everyone knows this duo can deliver, if things simply go as they should.

There are some fighters who simply love fighting each other. I don't mean they love the thrill of competing against someone who will challenge them; I mean they simply love hurting one another.

It's personal. Each hopes for brutality, and each truly seems to hope he cripples the other. It's not a contest. It's a war.

That's what the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has in the hate-fest--what else can you call it?--between Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock. They have already fought twice before, and each time the hatred only increased in each man, for each man. On October 10th, 2006, they will fight a third time at UFC Fight Night 7, which will be broadcast live on Spike TV.

It may well be the last bout between the two. Shamrock has stated that he will retire from the UFC after this match, regardless of the outcome.

Is it true? Only Shamrock can say for sure. But that can only help to sell tickets, and drum up interest in the third, and perhaps last, battle of UFC's favorite personal war.

Why are the two fighting again so soon after the second battle? There are a few reasons...

From Shamrock's point of view, the 42-year-old may well have been thinking about retiring from the UFC for awhile. While this is speculation, it's quite possible he'd hoped to use the second fight with Ortiz as his final bow, but that became impossible with the controversy and fan dissatisfaction stemming from the last Shamrock-Ortiz bout. A man like Shamrock surely plans to end his historic UFC career with a bang, and the last match with Ortiz just wasn't it.

The Ortiz position is much easier to assess: if Tito beats Ken in this third match-up, he will be granted a fight against current champion Chuck Liddell for the UFC Light heavyweight title.

Besides, there's always extra fan interest--and extra money to be made--when there's a bout between two big fighters who sincerely don't like each other.

If there is one odd thing about this third match, it's the timing. The first Shamrock/Ortiz bout, on 11/22/2002, is now a famous match among UFC fans. Perhaps because of the continuing bad blood--after all, who wants to spend a lot of time in promotions, etc. with a person you hate?--a second match didn't occur for quite a while.

This second fight took place on 07/08/2006. So just a touch over three months after a bout which most people feel didn't match the hype and ended in too screwy a manner, we're going to be served a third dish of a helping many of us feel has already gotten stale.

Don't get me wrong; like any patriotic American, I like watching quarts of blood spilled over petty arguments as much as anyone else. But with the second match still tasting sour in so many mouths, the UFC might have waited a bit on this one. Let the dust settle on this rivalry a bit, let everyone catch their breath. Besides, it might also have been a good idea to let memories fade on the unsatisfactory outcome of that second match...

The time between the first and the second match was surely too long a time; but having a third fight literally months after such a poorly received second bout seems odd to say the least.

Hey, the UFC will make money on this match-up no matter what I say. Besides, it could well be that UFC president Dana White feels that with so much disappointment over the July bout, it's only right to quickly fix the problem with another rematch.

He may well be right. But with this third bout happening on the heels of the second, it's hard to figure out just how or why we'd expect the outcome to be terribly different.

Sure, the third match probably will be settled in a less controversial manner. But without more preparation, it's hard to believe that anything other than another one-sided victory for Tito Ortiz will happen this time around.

An admission: while I don't think an aging Ken will normally have much of a chance against Ortiz anymore, I would like to see these two each have a chance to show their real mettle against the other. I'd like to see Shamrock go out with a touch of glory and a glint still in his eye, not on his back getting the shit kicked out him by a man much younger and much more hungry for the game. And I'd like to see Ortiz truly challenged by his true rival, even if Tito probably will come out on top.

Or maybe I just hope this bout finally delivers what everyone knows this duo can deliver, if things simply go as they should.

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