For the longest time, Chuck Liddell has teased the idea of returning to the cage. It appears that all that is left to make that happen for the 48-year-old UFC Hall of Famer is to dot some i's and cross some t's.
At least, that's the way the target of his comeback, Tito Ortiz sees it.
Liddell and Ortiz fought twice under the UFC banner en route to the promotion's Hall of Fame, but Ortiz feel like he never got a fair shake when it came to facing 'the Iceman" in the Octagon, and now he wants to get paid to run it back.
“Tito Ortiz vs. Chuck Liddell 3, the fight that all the fans wanted to see for the longest time and never got a chance to,” Ortiz said in a recent interview with TMZ Sports. “I never got a fair shake when I was with the UFC against Chuck, any of the times I ever fought against him. Let’s do it under a different promotion. Let’s do it under Golden Boy Promotion. (Oscar De La Hoya) has a great background in promoting fights, some of the biggest fights in the world, and he bit on it, hook, line, and sinker. He’s in. Let’s see if we can make some history here.”
For his part, Ortiz has committed to coming out of retirement and said that for him, it's a done deal. Now, although Liddell has also talked about the fight and said that he wants to do it, Ortiz is says he's still waiting for Liddell to officially agree to the bout.
"100-percent (I'm ready to do the fight), this is all in Chuck's hands right now. He's the one that has to make the decision," Ortiz continued. "I know I want to (fight); Oscar wants to do the promotion. We want to give the fans the best fight they can possibly have, and that's Tito Ortiz vs. Chuck Liddell 3."
When are we going to see Tito Ortiz vs. Chuck Liddell 3?
Ortiz couldn't say yet where the fight might happen, but if Liddell agrees, he is expecting the fight to take place sometime around October or November, giving them time to promote it and build interest. When talking about the fight in separate interviews, Liddell has targeted the same timeframe if the bout comes together.
Ortiz sees this as a tremendous opportunity to avenge the two prior losses. Liddell exited the Octagon in June of 2010 and hasn't fought since. Ortiz, meanwhile, has remained active until about a year ago. He last fought at Bellator 170 in January of 2017, where he submitted Chael Sonnen. He believes that gives him an edge in a trilogy fight with Liddell.
“This fight actually is a great opportunity for me. I'm coming off 3-1 in my last four fights. I only retired a year ago. I got in the gym two weeks ago and let me tell you, I bounced back faster than I even imagined I could bounce back. I’ve always been in good shape, I take care of my body, and I got an opportunity to get redemption," said Ortiz, who is 43 years of age.
“Look at the history books. Randy Couture at the age of 43 won the heavyweight world title at the age of 43. I feel healthy. I have a great surgeon that put me together. I’m the million dollar man, so let’s make a couple more million kicking Chuck Liddell’s ass. It’s gonna build. It’s gonna be the hugest fight in MMA history, just watch and see.”