Preview by Josh Nason
Tonight's Golden Boy Promotions MMA debut features a main event with plenty of name value but whether that value translates into PPV buys is anyone's guess as in the main event, former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell returns after a near nine year retirement against longtime rival Tito Ortiz, he of two retirements.
The two fought twice in the UFC with Liddell gaining wins in both fights with finishes both times. However, it's been 12 years since they last fought. Liddell hasn't been active since June 2010 while Ortiz retired for the second time after a January 2017 win over Chael Sonnen. Of note, the 48-year-old Liddell lost five of his last six pre-retirement.
In the co-main event, Filthy Four Daily co-host Tom Lawlor returns to action after more than two years away against prospect Deron Winn. While in the UFC, Lawlor was suspended by USADA for a failed drug test and was released from his contract several months ago. Winn is a member of AKA.
Follow along with the results from the main and co-main event below.
Main card got started at 9 pm eastern. Todd Grisham, Rashad Evans and Frank Mir are the announce team and all I have to say about them is that they make most WWE announce teams sound good.
In the opening bout, former Bellator middleweight Jay Silva (12-12), fighting at heavyweight here, scored a 3rd round technical submission win over Oscar Cota (10-2)
Next up, in another 3rd round stoppage, James Barnes (11-3) submitted former UFC fighter Albert Morales (7-5) in a bantamweight fight.
In a 140 lb catchweight bout, Ricky Palacios (11-1), who missed weight and was in terrible shape for the fight, had a first round TKO win over 4 fight UFC vet Walel Watson (14-12)
Next up is another catchweight fight, at 160 lbs, as former TUF winner Efrain Escudero takes on the recently cut Gleison Tibau. The two have a combined 40 UFC fights between them and they went the full 15 minutes in a pretty terrible fight. I scored it 29-28 Tibau, as did Frank Mir and all 3 judges. Gleison Tibau (33-14) beats Efrain Escudero (30-14)
Tom Lawlor (10-6-0-1) vs. Deron Winn (4-0)
Filthy Tom did a Taichi ring entrance, lip synching Lana Del Ray's "Born to Die", while wearing a necktie over his T-shirt. The commentators put over his connection to pro wrestling and embracing the entertainment side of the fight game, comparing him to Muhammed Ali and Conor McGregor.
Winn is an AKA fighter with all 4 of his wins coming via first round stoppage and all in under 2 minutes. He's got a similar look to Daniel Cormier. Short and stocky, but powerful. Mike Beltran, aka the Ox Baker looking ref is the official for the bout.
Winn moves in for a takedown 1 minute in but Lawlor defends. Both land hard punches at 1:15. Lawlor with a cut under his left eye at the 2 minute mark. Both guys keeping their distance. Total strikes landed are 6-5 at the half-way mark of the round.
Lawlor cut under his left eye now as well at the 2:45 mark. Winn controlling the pace, which could be the difference in a fairly close round, although he is landing the harder strikes as well. Nice punch exchange at 4:15. Lawlor bleeding pretty heavily now. 10-9 Winn
Winn stuns Lawlor with the first punch of the 2nd, dropping him to a knee but Lawlor fires back with a nice shot. Nice punch combo from Lawlor at 45 seconds. Lawlor starting to time the punches and land counters at 1:30. Nice punch exchange at 1:45 that Lawlor may have gotten the best of.
Both guys land hard shots at 2:00 and Lawlor mocks Winn afterward. Lawlor with a nice punch combo at 2:15. Total strikes landed in round 2 are 13-8 for Lawlor through 3 minutes. Nice punch exchange with both guys landing hard again. Lawlor with another cut over his left eye that's bleeding pretty heavily.
Lawlor with a nice punch combo at 3:30. Winn answers back with one at 3:45. Winn backs up Lawlor with an overhand right at 4:15. 10-9 Lawlor, 19-9 overall
Lawlor poked in the eye at the start of the round, as he had at the end of the 2nd but only takes a few seconds. Winn gets a takedown 30 seconds in. Lawlor to his feet but Winn grabs a front choke. Lawlor escapes at 1:15. Winn with another takedown and moves right into side control. Total strikes landed now 40-25 and Lawlor has advantages in all 3 rounds. Lawlor to his feet at 2:00.
Nice punch excahnge at 3:00. Winn with a takedown attempt and Lawlor grabs a guillotine on the way down. Winn loses his mouthpiece. Winn escapes the choke and in top position at 3:30. Lawlor landing elbows to the head from his back at 4:00. Ref warns them to work at 4:45. Winn landing hammer fists as the fight ends. 10-9 Winn, 29-28 Winn overall
Official result - Deron Winn (5-0) by unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)
Weird that the first two rounds were all standing and Lawlor outstruck Winn in both rounds, including over a 2 to 1 margin in the 2nd round, and the judges gave Winn all 3 rounds.
Winn cut a good promo and put over Lawlor as a tough vet but said that he, himself, is a future star and people should remember the day they saw him first. Frank Mir asked him if he'd be going for a title in his next fight and Winn just looked at Oscar De La Hoya at cageside and said "I'm a free agent, just let me know".
Chuck Liddell (21-8) vs. Tito Ortiz (19-12-1) III
Tito Ortiz out to a dubbed version of "Break Stuff" by Limp Bizkit. As we wait for the main event, Filthy Tom just tweeted out this:
Don't make me sad, don't make me cry Sometimes love is not enough and the road gets tough I don't know why Keep making me laugh, Let's go get high The road is long, we carry on Try to have fun in the meantime (lyrics from the song he was lip syncing to in his entrance)
Joe Martinez is doing his usual stellar job of announcing here, which is about the best thing on this show. Ortiz loudly booed during the ring intros. Liddell cheered by the fans in attendance, which include Mickey Rourke. Herb Dean is the ref.
Both guys keeping their distance early. Tito throwing some kicks from distance. Liddell lands a punch combo at 1:15. Tito smiling at him. Both guys miss badly on a punch exchange at 2:00. Ortiz knocks down Liddell with a short shot at 2:45 but lets him back up.
Chuck starting to throw leg kicks but he's backing up a lot. Tito almost falls on his face after missing a punch at 3:45. Rashad calls it a "great fight". It's not. Both guys land some solid punches at 4:15. Tito lands a hard punch and Chuck goes down like a rock.
Official result - Tito Ortiz (20-12-1) by knockout (punch) at 4:24
Tito does a Ric Flair "WOOOO" and thanked his son Jacob for the motivation he needed to beat Chuck. He said the gameplan was to box Liddell and that there was no way he was gonna stop him after 8 years away. He then thanked Liddell for taking the fight and giving him a chance to get his win back essentially. Liddell came over and offered him a handshake and Tito said that he's a true champion.
Liddell says he got in great shape to come back but he made a mistake and it is what it is. He says he has no excuses and that he just got caught. He says he's going to have to sit back and think about his future. Hopefully he realizes this game has passed him by.
Tito then said that he hopes Chuck fights again and that he himself is the best fighter he's ever been and that Liddell gave him a good fight. He then pleaded with other fighters out there to come fight for Golden Boy promotions because they're starting something big here.
Overall, this production had a lot of issues they need to fix if this will be an ongoing thing.