It feels strange to write this but it appears former UFC lightweight champion Chuck Liddell is pushing for a return to the UFC. He has also accused former foe, Tito Ortiz, of ducking him.
Speaking to TMZ Sport earlier this week about a potential comeback, Liddell had the following to say.
“It’s still a possibility for sure…I’m staying in shape, staying ready.”
Asked who he would like to fight he initially named Chael Sonnen as a potential opponent but then moved on to discuss Ortiz.
“Tito would be great if he’d even consider fighting me. I hear he doesn’t wanna fight me at all.”
It’s worth making a couple of things clear at this stage. Liddell is, without doubt, a UFC legend but he hasn’t fought since a KO loss to Rich Franklin at UFC 115 in 2010. That was his third consecutive knockout loss and it ultimately led to Chuck hanging up the gloves to the relief of his family, friends and UFC president Dana White. At a Q&A in 2013, Liddell explained what led to him stepping away from the sport he loved.
“I talked to my family, my coaches, and then I went to Dana. I talked to Dana. Dana and I actually went to dinner, and he thought I was going to ask him to fight again. I came to dinner, and I said, “You know what? I’m done.” He was relieved.”
Following his retirement, Liddell was rewarded for his service to the UFC in the form of a ceremonial executive role. He held this position until the being laid off after the UFC was purchased by WME-IMG in December 2016.
Now, without any ties to the UFC, it seems Liddell is considering a comeback.
Responding to Liddell‘s claims, Ortiz tweeted an accusation that he asked the UFC to make the fight but they refused:
.@ChuckLiddell funny thing is I told @UFC to put the fight together and they said you were incapable to fight again. Maybe you can twist @DanaWhite ‘s arm. @TMZ_Sports
— Tito Ortiz (@titoortiz) February 15, 2018
Liddell and Ortiz do of course have a history together. They met twice during their UFC days with Liddell emerging victorious on both occasions. At this time in both of their lives, it feels borderline ridiculous to suggest that we might see a trilogy fight between the two legends.
The trouble is, ridiculous things are proposed and actually happen far more frequently now than ever before. It isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that we actually see this happen.
If it does go ahead, my money would be on the UFC having nothing at all to do with it.
Do you have any interest in seeing Liddell and Ortiz go at it again, for old times sake? Let me know what you think in the comments.
For more of my MMA content, you can find me on Twitter @tommymull_mma.