Ortiz open to a Liddell trilogy fight, in the UFC
Chuck Liddell wants to fight again, and the first fighter he named was Tito Ortiz. When ‘The Iceman’ floated the idea on his social network last year, Ortiz pointedly declined. However, during a recent interview with TMZ, Ortiz indicated he has had a change of heart. Ortiz has now completed his Bellator MMA contract, and Liddell is unsigned.
“I have a lot of interest level,” said Ortiz, as transcribed byJed Meshew for MMA Fighting. “Actually, on New Year’s, I asked the matchmakers for the UFC if they’d ever want to do a Chuck Liddell-Tito Ortiz III and he kind of looked at me and laughed and said, ‘Chuck couldn’t pass to fight again. He’s been knocked out, unconscious, five times.’ I guarantee you the doctor won’t give him a license.”
“It’s up to them. I thought of it just because I was pumped because of the UFC in general, being back in the house, but I don’t know. I would like another go at it. I left on a high stool of choking Chael within two-and-a-half minutes. My body’s fine. I know Chuck Liddell’s been knocked out unconscious to the point where they had to give him the smelling salts to make him feel better but he’s looking to be a paycheck. I understand it. I have other businesses, and it’s not a hurry for me to fight. I don’t want to fight, I don’t need to fight, but if Chuck needs to, I’ll be a good friend like he was once and give him a payday.”
As Ortiz noted, the primary impediment to the fight is fighter safety.
UFC president Dana White gave his friend Liddell a no-show desk job in return for retiring, out of concern for his health following three brutal KO losses. However, when WME-IMG bought the UFC, they cut costs. Among many things to go were White’s use of a corporate jet, and a number of personnel, including Liddell. Endeavor refusing to honor what Liddell believed was a lifetime position extended for the health of his mind, and then bringing him back to make money off the now 48-year-old seems wrong.