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Chael Sonnen criticizes Oscar De La Hoya for Liddell vs. Ortiz 3 'disaster'

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For Chael Sonnen, Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz 3 was nothing short of a “disaster.”

Over the weekend, Ortiz defeated Liddell by first-round knockout in the headliner of Golden Boy’s first MMA pay-per-view to exact some revenge following two previous losses. By and large, it was a trilogy fight nobody asked for yet still got put together by Oscar De La Hoya nearly 12 years removed from the UFC Hall of Famers’ second encounter.

Liddell, 48, came out of retirement after more than eight years to face 43-year-old Ortiz a third time. With the build-up and fight now over, Sonnen, 41, believes there is “a tremendous lesson” to be learned about the “disaster.”

“Oscar is not passionate about mixed martial arts, and that was very clear and very obvious,” said Sonnen, who lost to Ortiz last year at Bellator 170. “And when it comes to storytelling and building anticipation, you cannot just set up a ring, and the rest of it takes care of itself. I’ve heard fighters threaten that they were going to leave a promotion and start their own promotion. Go ahead. Go right ahead. That’s essentially what we saw here.

“So, Chuck and Tito come together, go to Oscar, pitch him on an idea that Oscar was never passionate about, he was never behind, with a story that he simply did not know how to tell. It doesn’t make Oscar a bad promoter. The lesson to learn in this is: You got to stay in your lane.”

De La Hoya received a fair amount of criticism from MMA industry folks for his lack of involvement in promoting Liddell vs. Ortiz 3. For instance, he wasn’t present at the ceremonial weigh-ins the day before the show. De La Hoya also admitted to not knowing many of the fighters’ names on the card and repeatedly mispronounced Liddell’s.

All of that led to the result many expected, with “The Iceman” laid out on the mat after a vicious knockout – which, for many, was tough to watch.

For more on “Golden Boy MMA: Liddell vs. Ortiz,” check out the MMA Events section of the site.



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