Liddell, speaking on Spike's Inside the Ultimate Fighter podcast, said that although he took some time away from the sport after being knocked out by Mauricio "Shogun" Rua last April and was advised by UFC president Dana White to retire, it was never an option.
"I never considered retiring," he said. "I knew I wasn't done. I wanted to take some time to figure things out, and also have some time off from getting hit in the head, have some time to relax and let some old wounds heal. And I'm back."
Liddell, who reiterated that he expected to fight Tito Ortiz at UFC 115, said that when he was offered a spot as a coach on season 11 of The Ultimate Fighter, he "argued against the opposing coach pretty adamantly," and would have preferred to coach against anybody but Ortiz. He said he viewed the seven-week stint on TUF as a mini-camp before his official fight camp kicked off.
The former UFC light-heavyweight champ was also asked about his thoughts on the recently signed boxing great James Toney.
"I'd love to fight him if they offered it to me," he said. "He's one of these guys, the way he's talking about the sport, I hope they put him in with someone good. I hope they don't do what some of these other organizations have done and put him in there with someone that's not a high-quality fighter. Give him a high-quality opponent and see what happens to him."
Asked who he'd consider a proper matchup, Liddell said, "Give him anyone that can wrestle. They'll take him down and smash him. Have him fight someone like Cain [Velasquez]. That'd be hysterical."
(Editor's note: MMAFighting.com's Mike Chiappetta is the host of Spike's Inside The Ultimate Fighter. New episodes are available every Wednesday night on UltimateFighter.com and iTunes at the conclusion of The Ultimate Fighter.)