The latest rumors surfing the web today, have Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell squaring off against Randy "The Natural" Couture at UFC 116 for what could potentially be their fourth ultimate encounter.
In the past few weeks, rumors had also been spreading that Tito Ortiz was going to be pulling out of his fight with Liddell, and that the Iceman would instead be fighting Rich “Ace” Franklin.
Tito denied those rumours, as did Dana White, who immediately announced that it would be Randy Couture would be facing off next against Rich Franklin, and that Chuck Liddell would still be set to fight Tito Ortiz in the co-main event at UFC 116.
So what’s with all the rumors then?
Am I the only one confused here?
Sounds like the perfect topic for “Paranoid Theory Man!!”
Here’s what I think is happening…
I believe it to be a distinct possibility that Tito has been deemed medically unfit to fight Chuck due to his plethora of ongoing health problems (of course, I am referring to his neck and back issues—not his amnesia).
Sure, Ortiz has stated that he is fine and that the fight with Liddell will still go on, but he has clearly lied in the past when it comes to issues pertaining to his health, which raises another very important question—why should we now believe that Tito is suddenly being honest?
Unless he lied about lying?
In fairness, I can see why Dana White and the UFC would not want to announce to the MMA world that Tito Ortiz has officially been removed from the fight card. No doubt, just like with Rampage and Rashad dissolving part way through the TUF series, the fear and expectation is that any announcement made at this juncture would surely affect the TUF show’s ratings.
Eegad! Not the ratings!! Anything but the ratings!!
It kind of makes all of the bad blood and trash-talking seem quite entirely pointless and annoying, doesn’t it?
The only reason that I would be motivated enough to want to tune in to listen to Tito rant on with his customary obnoxious blather, would be to see the end product—Chuck’s fist stuffed directly into Tito’s mouth.
Bingo! The pay-off!
If the fight is not happening, then having to listen to, and tolerate Tito hardly seems worth it.
I have better things to do with my time—like watch paint dry or stick needles in my eyeballs.
In the past, Tito has shown evidence to many that he can actually do a good job of coaching on the show.
Maybe he is a good coach (?).
I suppose that I’ll have to watch him in action once again (as you get older, the memory definitely starts fading) to make that generous determination.
The problem I have with giving Tito the benefit of the doubt at this stage in his career is that I personally see the best coaches as being men (or women) of great character and high ethical standard.
Up until now, I just wouldn’t rank Tito into either of those categories.
Tito may be great at building rapport with his fighters (unless they are just humouring him?), but will they truly gain from his experiences and leadership?
Can Tito lead by example?
Does he possess the motivational capabilities to get his fighters to give nothing short of their absolute personal best each and every time that they enter into the Octagon (or onto the practice mat)?
Here’s what I’ll be watching for in the upcoming weeks from both of these TUF coaches:
A good coach takes a sincere interest in the thoughts and plans of those around him.
A good coach possesses unfailing goodness, which indeed becomes the principal reason for his greatness.
A good coach has a colossal personality with incredible force and presence, and is a man of complete charm.
A good coach is a visionary.
A good coach is feared, but also revered by his players/students.
A good coach always gets the best out of his players/students.
A good coach is tolerant of a lack of talent, but is completely intolerant of not reaching potential.
A good coach believes in exhaustive preparation.
A good coach has a keen sense of humor (sometimes aimed at himself) and a commanding presence.
A good coach is an accomplished speaker who is comfortable with everybody.
A good coach is a man of absolute integrity (sorry Tito...no exceptions).
A good coach believes in hard work and sacrifice.
A good coach is a little bit crazy in his hunger to win (crazy in a good way though).
Oh and also...a good coach loves life.
I know that sometimes these fighters take a backseat to their coaching obligations because in the end, it’s all about hyping their own fight, but I really hope for the sake of the other aspiring fighters on the show (who have given up their lives in order to pursue their own dreams), that Chuck and Tito take their coaching roles as seriously as I feel that they should.
Particularly, if there’s not going to be Chuck vs. Tito III at the end of it all.
Best of luck, gentlemen.
Let the best coach win!
These are my opinions. If you don’t like them…I have others. Check them out at www.coachjamesryan.com