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ESPN is finally putting together a "30 for 30" special about MMA, with its first one on the sport covering the rivalry between Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz.
On Thursday, ESPN announced via press release that a new documentary titled "Chuck & Tito" will be coming out in October. According to the release, it "will chronicle the hot and cold relationship between MMA fighters Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz--from the very start of the UFC, through its rise in popularity, to present day." The special will air on Oct. 15 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on ESPN, and three days later it will be added to the ESPN+ "30 for 30" library. A small snippet of the film will air on ESPN2 on Thursday night at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
Directing this film will be Micah Brown, who previously created the documentary titled "Prison Fighters: 5 Rounds to Freedom," which studied a program called "Prison Fight Thailand" that allows convicted criminals to compete for their freedom across several Muay Thai bouts. Of Liddell and Ortiz, the director explained, "As individuals, Chuck and Tito each took turns being the face of the UFC. As rivals, they were the most lucrative matchup in MMA history at that time. This film is important not only to celebrate their tremendous careers, but also to explore the psychology behind why fighters fight, and how those contrasting perspectives impacted them as individuals. And, more than that, 'Chuck & Tito' is about identity, friendship, and the cost of chasing your dream."
The two former champs retired and re-retired with incredible legacies with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, having competed against one another three times. The first two times they squared off, Liddell finished Ortiz at UFCs 47 and 66 in 2004 and 2006, respectively. They faced each other a third time almost 12 years after their second meeting, at Golden Boy MMA: Liddell vs. Ortiz 3, and Ortiz dispatched a 48-year-old "Iceman" in the first round. Both men officially stated that was their last bout, but Ortiz will instead be locking horns with Alberto Rodriguez at an upcoming Combate Americas event.
Check out several of their other historic achievements here.