Liddell: I’d be shocked if I wasn’t medically cleared to fight
Last year Chuck Liddell indicated he planned a return to fighting. The obvious return is a trilogy fight vs. Tito Ortiz. ‘The People’s Champ’ was initially interested, but recently changed his mind, and said he had asked UFC management to make the fight. Ortiz even started the trash talk, saying that he was financially secure, but if Liddell needed the money, he would fight him as a favor.
Liddell spoke recently with TMZ, and said he hoped Ortiz was genuinely game.
“That would be awesome,” said Liddel, as transcribed byJed Meshew for MMA Fighting. “I hadn’t seen that. Somebody said something about it but I hadn’t seen it. I’ll believe it when I see it, when he actually signs the contract, and then I’ll believe it again when he actually shows up to the fight.”
“I’ll take it. However he wants to give it to me, I’ll take it. If he wants to do me a favor, I’ll take it.
“I have a hard time believing. He pulled out the last time. It is what it is. If he actually signs to do it, I’ll be happy.”
Ortiz also said that UFC matchmakers don’t believe the Liddell can get licensed, given the string of brutal knockouts he suffered at the close of his career. Liddell said that should not be a disqualifying issue.
“I don’t know why I wouldn’t be,” said Liddell. “I’ve had medical exams for my mountain climbing show and I cleared with everything there so I should be just fine. We’ll have to see. If they don’t clear me, I’d be shocked. They’ve cleared a lot of people in a lot less shape than I am.
“I’ve already beat him twice. He’s probably hoping that I’ve really declined and he’s able to take advantage of that, that’s what he’s hoping for. If he actually shows up, it’s gonna be bad news for him.”
Liddell retired when UFC president Dana White, concerned for his health, gave him a no-show job. Then the league was bought by WME-IMG and the new corporate overlords ended what Liddell had believed was a lifetime offer. So at 48, he wants to fight again.
It’s barely even anecdotal evidence, but Liddell’s voice sounded remarkably clear compared to other interviews, so some of the fear over his condition may be due to catching him after a few drinks on a plane or a club.