Ortiz said he believes a seven-fight UFC win streak that coincided precisely with the promotion's meteoric rise in popularity – and netted Liddell millions of dollars – led to complacency.
"When you're making a big chunk of money automatically, no matter what, and you know a company is behind you no matter what, you feel like you can do whatever you want," Ortiz said. "Now what [Liddell] comes to realize is that he has a family. He has his fight career ahead of him, and he wants to take advantage of it."
Ortiz also points to another aspect of Liddell's lifestyle as a primary reason for the 40-year-old's current run of just one win in five UFC contests.
"I think [Liddell] had a problem," Ortiz said. "A lot of people go through addiction. I think his deal was he was an alcoholic. He loved to party.
"When you have all the money in the world and you can do what you want, no one tells you, 'No.' You're one of the baddest men on the Earth; no one tells you, 'No.' You can do what you want."
While Liddell has never discussed any potential addictions with alcohol or other substances, the former champ has said he's no longer partying as he prepares for his upcoming bout with Ortiz.
Ortiz paints a bleaker picture of the entire scenario, though he does praise Liddell for his current behavior.
"Thank God that (UFC president) Dana (White) gave [Liddell] an intervention, and he's sober now," Ortiz said. "He's been sober since November, and he looks like a different person. It's awesome. I'm proud of him – really proud of him. A lot of people can't do that. I kind of went through that myself, but I looked in the mirror and I realized that wasn't the life I wanted to lead.
"I'm proud he's found sobriety. A lot of fighters, and a lot of people in general, don't do that. They fall off the face of the earth, and sometimes they'll find them in a hotel, dead, or behind a wheel, dead. Thank God Chuck isn't one of those guys. Thank God he found sobriety, and I'm proud of him – very proud of him."
"Everything will pan out"
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