Much to the chagrin of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President, Dana White, former Light Heavyweight champion and all-around mixed martial arts (MMA) legend Chuck Liddell announced on a recent edition of “The MMA Hour” that he will indeed mount a combat sports comeback.
Former boxing champion Oscar de la Hoya started talks a few weeks ago about booking a trilogy fight between “The Iceman” and former UFC champion Tito Ortiz, which got the internet going and Liddell’s competitive juices flowing.
“I will fight again,” he said. “Tito seems to want to fight me again, so we are talking about partnering up with Golden Boy and doing it that way. It’s an option and we are working on it, so we will see.”
While admitting he doesn’t give Ortiz a second thought, Liddell, 48, doesn’t mind putting hands on him again.
“Tito thinks because Dana doesn’t want to put the fight together is because he thinks Dana feels he can beat me. He wants to convince himself he can beat me,” said Chuck, who says a friendly run-in with Ortiz at a charity event that turned sour in a hurry is what sparked talks of a third fight.
“I’m always cool, I don’t care anymore, I don’t care about him. I don’t like him, I don’t think he’s a good person, it is what it is. 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 more than anything since I’ve retired is, ‘Can you beat him up one more time?’ People just never get tired of seeing me hit him,” he added.
As for his pending partnership with Oscar de la Hoya, Chuck says it will initially be that of a promoter working with a fighter, but says down the road he could very well be somewhat of a promoter for “The Golden Boy’s” future MMA company if it indeed takes off.
Furthermore, Liddell says what Ortiz decides to do has no bearing on his decision, saying he will face anyone as long as it makes sense and an amicable deal can be reached. He also revealed he is still in talks with Bellator MMA and wouldn’t mind mixing it up with “big mouth” Chael Sonnen.
“I miss it, I never stopped missing it. I never thought about it that much until he brought it up. I started to get going, I started training again, I started to do stuff, getting ready to get this going. Then I thought, ‘What if he pulls out? Am I not going to fight? Am I going to do all of this and not fight?’ We have to have somebody else, so if it doesn’t work out with him I am going to give it a shot.”
And if his initial return goes well, Chuck isn’t afraid to go to the top of the food chain.
“In my mind, I would like two good warm up fights, and I’d like a shot at Jon Jones. I am serious, I’d like a shot at him. We will see. Just, match styles.”
As for when “The Iceman” -- who ended his MMA career in 2010 on the heels of three straight knockout losses -- looks to start his comeback, he is hoping to book the fight for this coming November. And if Ortiz pulls out of proceedings, Chuck says perhaps another guy from his era can step in to fill the void.