Who carried the UFC, Chuck or Tito?

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                                Who carried the UFC, Chuck or Tito?

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                            <strong class="ArticleSource">[mma.sbnation.com]</strong>

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                    <p>UFC&nbsp;President Dana White says the most important fighter in UFC&nbsp;history, the man who carried MMA during its unsteady days, is Chuck Liddell.</p>

"I would have to say Chuck Liddell." said White on Fox Sports Radio. "Chuck Liddell was the guy who really carried this thing on his back for the early years when we were getting this thing off the ground. We had some guys who were big stars but Chuck was really the man. Chuck was the guy with that look and everything else. When people saw him you knew that was the Ultimate Fighting guy."

SBNation's Jonathan Snowden has a different opinion.

With due respect to White, I think he's forgetting someone pretty important to the UFC's rise. Walking hand in hand with Liddell, creating the sport's fanbase with his own force of will, has been the "Huntington Beach Bad Boy" Tito Ortiz. Every step of the way, Ortiz has been side by side with Liddell, in most cases beating him at the box office, and on television. He's Liddell's equal everywhere, basically, except inside the cage.

Before Liddell was a star of any significance, Ortiz was already the UFC's poster boy. He and Ken Shamrock gave Lorenzo Fertitta hope during a desperate time, drawing 150,000 buys on pay per view at UFC 40. No one else had come close to that number in Zuffa's six events to that point. It reaffirmed the new sports promise as a spectator spectacle.

While Ortiz played hardball in negotiations with his former manager White, Liddell moved up to the main event. But "the Iceman" didn't have the same cachet with the fans. Against Randy Couture at UFC 43, Liddell managed just 49,000 buys. When Ortiz returned at the next event to try his hand at beating the aged wrestler, the two almost doubled that with 95,000 buys.

Everything Chuck could do, Tito could do better. His own coaching stint on The Ultimate Fighter set records on Spike TV that lasted 10 seasons. At UFC 57 Liddell drew 400,000 buys. Tito did him 25,000 better at UFC 59. Even Ortiz's television cameos were bigger and better- while Liddell had an awkward turn on Entourage, Ortiz starred on the network smash Celebrity Apprentice in front of 11 million people every week.

The two made the most magic, however, together. Former training partners and clients of White, their feud simmered for years. When they met in the cage for the second time, they became the first UFC fighters to draw more than a million buys on pay-per-view.

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They both carried UFC at different times.

Both did, but Tito was the more known figure during that time. Tito brought in more fans than Chuck did....

 I also believe the should mentioned them both.,......

I was not around at that time (or atleast not avidly following the UFC) but i always heard that Tito had the biggest following initially.Tito was also there extremely early and his beef with the lions Den is legendary.

Chuck's fighting style was more appealing though.And chuck always had more of the ''cool'' factor (celebirty apprentice is all good and well but it does not beat entourage and dancing with the stars) the tito ever had. Basically Tito became the guy you loved to hate while Chuck always was the guy you wanted to be.

Still i have great respect for both.Perhaps even a little more for Tito. It is hard to stand you ground,from a business perspective,against Dana. Chuck always has been a company man. There is value in that but it does not really show the independant spirit on the business side that both Tito and Randy showed.

And there both great fighters even though Chuck is far more pleasing to the eye in the cage then Chuck.

Fights! - They both carried UFC at different times.

Immaculata - 
Fights! - They both carried UFC at different times.


Tito still has a bigger fanbase.

Immaculata - 
Fights! - They both carried UFC at different times.



 Both, for sure.



DamnSevern -
Immaculata - 
Fights! - They both carried UFC at different times.


. Phone Post

 Tito for sure.

Tito, by far.

First off, to the common man, Chuck looks like a guy who fixes your car. Tito has that cocky athlete swagger.

Secondly, the Lion's Den feud was big for it's time. Yes it was very soap opera-y but it made people want to see Ortiz fight Ken Shamrock, people who were willing to pay. Even though unsuccessful by today's standards, 140,000 buys was monster for an MMA PPV in its day.

Third, Tito had an aura about him that Chuck just doesn't have. Don't get me wrong, Chuck seems like a good enough guy and all but he lacks the general superstar quality Tito can muster. I'm not saying that Chuck isn't nor wasn't popular as his fights saw very good consistent buyrates but his biggest draw was versus Tito. Just saying.

Before any flames, this is about who was the bigger star and more important to carrying the UFC and not to better fighter or more legendary.

I think the time at which Tito carried it was more important.
It was possible that UFC could have got where it is today-or similar- without Chuck...or at least moreso than without Tito.
dons flame-retardant jacket

Crooklyn - Tito saved the UFC from an early extinction. Chuck carried the torch afterwards, and kept the momentum going.

. Phone Post

Although Chuck ended up being the more well known guy, Tito was the original posterboy and was carrying the company at a more vital point in time. Liddell was increasing the popularity of the UFC, but before that, Ortiz was keeping the company alive, which holds more significance, in my opinion.

Crooklyn - Tito saved the UFC from an early extinction. Chuck carried the torch afterwards, and kept the momentum going.

Body Shots - 
Crooklyn - Tito saved the UFC from an early extinction. Chuck carried the torch afterwards, and kept the momentum going.
. <img src="/images/phone/post_tag.png" alt="Phone Post" border="0" style="vertical-align:middle;"/>