Forty-eight-year-old UFC Hall-of-Famer Chuck Liddell isn’t done with his fighting career just yet.
Liddell announced Monday on “The MMA Hour” that he is officially coming out of retirement and targeting a fight against rival Tito Ortiz later this year.
“I will fight again, yeah,” Liddell said on Monday. “If we can get a deal together with somebody that makes sense, yeah.”
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) May 14, 2018
No deal has been finalized yet, however, Liddell said he’s targeting a fight in November in either California or Las Vegas.
Whether Liddell comes back for his third fight against Ortiz, or it’s against somebody else, he’s serious about coming out of retirement.
“I miss it. I never stopped missing it,” Liddell said. “And I kinda hadn’t really thought about it much. And then when he brought it up and we started getting going, and I started training and I started doing stuff again, getting ready to try to take this on, it made me go, ‘You know what, what if he pulls out? Am I not going to fight? Am I going to do all of this and not fight?’ Oh no, we had to have somebody backing up, and if it doesn’t work out with him, I’m [still] going to give it a shot. It’ll be somebody else, one of the guys from my past probably, most likely, and we’ll see where I’m at.”
Liddell, or “The Iceman,” is one of the most popular fighters in UFC history. He retired in 2010 after three consecutive knockout losses.
While UFC president Dana White and others have been critical of Liddell’s return, citing health reasons, Liddell isn’t worried. He’s ready, not just for Liddell-Ortiz Round 3, but to simply fight again.
“I want to fight,” Liddell said. “I miss everything. Everyone always asks me, ‘Hey man, this must be a lot better than fighting?’ No, no, I still — that was my favorite thing. My wife asks me, ‘How do you like doing that?’ My wife asks me that all the time. I still miss it. I miss everything. I miss cutting weight. I miss everything that goes with it, everything, the good, the bad. It’s all of it. I mean, I miss hanging out the gym, going and working out every day. It’s fun to me.”
Liddell beat Ortiz in their first two matches in 2004 and 2006. Ortiz announced he was coming out of retirement last year in order to take on Liddell one more time.
Even though he said he “doesn’t care anymore,” Liddell said he’s more than ready to beat Ortiz one more time. And, Liddell added, Ortiz feels the same way.
“I don’t like him, I don’t think he’s a good person, but it is what it is,” Liddell said. “I can be civil with anybody. I don’t have animosity. But yeah, I would love to beat him up again. That’s the one thing I have been asked since I’ve retired more than anything is, ‘Can you beat him up one more time?’ People just never get tired of seeing me hit him.”
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