The fight was to unify the interim and official light-heavyweight championships, with Tito Ortiz the official champion and Randy Couture the interim. If successful, this would have been Ortiz's sixth title defense.
The first round began. Ortiz landed an inside leg kick and they clinched and Ortiz briefly had double underhooks but Couture shook him off but they were still clinched. Ortiz was really looking for that takedown, really looking for it, trying single-leg and double-leg, mainly single-leg. He had Couture crouched against the cage. Both men wanted to get the other on his back. The crowd mainly chanted 'Randy'. They weren't doing much besides Ortiz trying to take Couture down and Couture defending well. Couture landed a nice knee. Ortiz landed a big knee to the body. Now Couture was pushing Ortiz against the cage. Ortiz landed another knee to the body. Ortiz had never been taken down in his UFC career. Couture appeared to really be looking for the same foot sweep takedown he had used against Chuck Liddell in their first fight in which he had won that interim championship. The referee told them to work. Couture landed a knee and ate one and then ate another and another, landed one to the thigh now. Couture got that sweep right into taking Ortiz's back and he had one hook in and he briefly had that choke in. Ortiz was rolling wildly and he managed to stand into the clinch and he was trying hard, he had Couture on his ass, almost on his back. Couture stood into the clinch though. They exchanged a knee to the leg each and Couture landed another, Ortiz landed a body. The crowd chanted 'Tito'. They broke with exchanging missed strikes. Ortiz landed a jab to the chin in close and they clinched. Ortiz landed a nice knee to the body. Couture got another foot sweep into side control nicely and landed a knee to the body and another. Couture landed another knee to the body. Ortiz was looking for a sweep and he got Couture into half-guard. The referee told them to work. Ortiz was trying to roll his knees but the first round ended. The second round began. Couture blocked a headkick and came for the clinch and missed a foot sweep and got the double underhooks and then got that trip into full guard and landed some good shots. Ortiz appeared tired. Couture landed a good quick pair of elbows. Couture landed another elbow and another and a punch. The crowd chanted 'Randy'. Couture landed an elbow and another one. The crowd was oohing with every one, shades of Pride. The crowd chanted 'Randy'. Couture landed a good shot and another and a big forearm. Couture passed to half-guard. Couture landed another couple of short but hard elbows. There were some scattered chants of 'Tito' from the crowd. They weren't doing much. Couture was looking to pass, he nearly mounted, Ortiz was tryin to sit up against the fence. Ortiz landed some body shots. Couture landed a good shot inside. He shoved Ortiz down and he was in full guard. Ortiz was wall-walking and rotating his hips and looking for an armbar. Couture was having none of that. Couture passed to half-guard and landed two big elbows. Ortiz nearly stood. Couture landed another nice pair of elbows and the second round ended and as they stood, Ortiz said something angrily. They headed back to their corner. Couture didn't seem to be overly bothered. Couture seemed to be the fresher of the two fighters for sure, he didn't appear even winded. The third round began. Ortiz looked nervous and Couture looked focused. Ortiz landed a right hand. Couture landed a weak leg kick. They clinched. Couture was looking for that single-leg takedown and he got Ortiz down yet again, sitting by the fence. Ortiz was turtled up with Couture in side back mount, hammerfisting in under, oh wait he had him in the crucifix now, so fast and he could not defend himself. Couture was calm and collected, hammerfisting in under. His arm was trapped, and so was the other, held by Couture's other arm. Ortiz managed to escape but he was turtled up and Ortiz was hugging Couture's leg and eating punches in under and an elbow. Ortiz got Couture down and he was sprawling out to avoid Couture getting up, he landed a nice knee to the body, Couture got a nice turn-around and shoved Ortiz down into full guard. Couture was just relentlessly coming after Ortiz. Couture landed a trio of hammerfists. Couture landed some good punches, Ortiz defended a lot of them but some got through, Couture landed a good elbow. Couture landed another elbow. One minute left. Couture landed some more short shots, an elbow, a body shot, and he passed to half-guard and he was even looking to pass that. Ortiz looked exhausted. Couture passed to side control and then mount, Ortiz almost swept him and put Couture back in side control at least. Couture landed a shot and another and another punch and the third round ended. Ortiz did not look happy on his way back to the corner. The fourth round began. Couture looked very much so fresher coming in. Couture landed a nice right hand and got the takedown, putting Ortiz on his ass against the fence with catlike speed as Goldberg noted. Ortiz was trying to stand, Couture dumped him back down and passed to half-guard. Ortiz looked very frustrated. Ortiz was getting a taste of his own medicine. The crowd chanted 'Randy' rousingly. Couture landed a good elbow. Couture landed a good punch and another elbow and another. Couture passed to side control, Ortiz gave up his side back mount. Couture landed a vicious knee to the body, drew it back. Couture now fully had Ortiz's back, he had a hook in. Couture rolled him over and mounted and he was pounding away and Ortiz was trying to cover up. Couture landed a good elbow and he was pounding away still and Ortiz was struggling to cover up. Couture was just pounding away, most were blocked but some were getting through. Couture landed a nice trio of punches. Ortiz finally managed to hug Couture. Couture seemed to be taking a breather. Ortiz was trying to wall walk and he got it but Couture turtled him up and landed some nice shots in under, some really nice shots. Couture was basically in side control now. Couture was just shoving Ortiz against the fence. Four big elbows to the right eye of Ortiz, some big punches in under, another nice elbow to the nose. Woah, was Ortiz cut? Couture landed a nice elbow. The pace had slowed a bit. Couture landed a really nice elbow. The fourth round ended and Ortiz shoved Couture off and walked back to his corner shaking his head in disgust and frustration at himself. Colin Oyama was telling Ortiz that he had to 'choke him out'. The fifth round began. Couture ducked a right hand and they clinched. Ortiz broke and ate a right hand and they clinched. Ortiz landed a knee to the body. Couture replied. Ortiz looked extremely frustrated. Couture landed another knee to the body and then the thigh. The crowd chanted 'Randy' rousingly. Couture landed a knee to the thigh and Ortiz landed one to the body, and Couture to the thigh. Couture was looking for a single-leg, Ortiz held the fence, he was warned and let go and Couture got the takedown and he was on top in half-guard and he was pounding in under with nice hammerfists. Ortiz's corner was yelling hoarsely. Couture landed a trio of short elbows. Couture landed a nice body shot. Couture was looking to pass. Ortiz was trying to stand and he made it but Couture had his standing back and he suplexed Ortiz down and had his back there. No side back mount there. Ortiz put him in half-guard. Couture landed some body shots. Ortiz gave up his side back mount again after about a minute. Ortiz rolled for a kneebar and Couture stood and he was just patting Ortiz's ass. He punched his ass. Ortiz's corner yelled 'he's tapping'. Couture punched his ass and again. Thirteen seconds. Three ass punches, four hammerfists backward and Couture rolled on top in half-guard and the fifth round ended and Couture roared. Ortiz yelled in frustration and threw his mouthpiece on the ground. Dan Henderson was among the ones congratulating Couture on his new title. Ortiz was still screaming in frustration. He came over and hugged Couture though. Couture was saying something to him. Ortiz said something back, Couture replied. Couture was indeed the winner by unanimous decision. Ortiz was crying. His corner told him 'Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose'. 50-44, 50-44, 50-45. Couture was the undisputed champion and Ortiz looked extremely upset. They hugged again. Ortiz put the belt on Couture.