Earlier this year, rumors began circulating about the possible return to MMA of UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell. Liddell has mostly denied those rumors but he has clarified that a return to fighting isn’t out of the question, just expensive. The most obvious choice for a Liddell comeback is against former UFC middleweight title challenger Chael Sonnen who is now one of the marquee stars for Bellator and just so happens to be an opponent Liddell considers “an easy matchup.”
Perhaps in an effort to help stir up the interest that Liddell is looking for, Sonnen responded to Liddell’s comments about him on the most recent episode of his You’re Welcome podcast, saying that multiple offers have been made to Liddell but that “The Iceman” seems cool to the idea.
“I got called out on TMZ - I don’t know if it’s a call out but I’m using that term - by Chuck Liddell. He said, ‘Chael Sonnen would be a perfect warm up fight’ for his comeback. TMZ got ahold of me to respond. I never miss big media opportunities and TMZ is huge but this one I just sat it out. First time ever I’ve told TMZ I’m gonna pass on the interview because I didn’t know what to say and I still don’t, other than the truth: I will fight you right now Chuck. This was my idea. I’m the one that suggested you come in on my legends ass-whipping tour and be my crowning moment. That’s the truth. Chuck does not have a contract with any organization. Bellator would sign him and would make that fight and did sit down with him and told him that but he didn’t sign. Instead he went back to TMZ and pretended he wanted the fight.
“No problem if he’s using that as a negotiation tool. That is part of how the game is played and if enough people wanted to see it, it would be an effective tool. That’s kind of your measuring stick. When he can get publicity like TMZ, that’s a good sign for him but the bottom line is, he doesn’t have a contract. They offered him the fight and in fact, they offered it to him twice, in person. . . He didn’t take it.”
Liddell has not competed in seven years and hasn’t won a fight since 2007. He ended his career losing three in a row, all by the way of knockout. Conversely, Sonnen returned to MMA earlier this year after almost four years of retirement. He’s gone 1-1 in his return which has seen him fight two of the biggest stars from Liddell’s hay day, Tito Ortiz and Wanderlei Silva. Sonnen has also remained active on the competitive grappling circuit and it’s obvious that activity has him feeling quite confident about a bout with Liddell.
“I just won a super-fight over the weekend against a three-time world champion meanwhile Chuck is walking around Beverly Hills with a haircut that looks like he lost a bet. What am I supposed to say? I can’t say yes any clearer. I don’t know how to speak any clearer than I am to you right now. I will fight Chuck right now. I will fight him next Saturday, the Saturday after that, the month after that, he can pick the day, he can pick the weight class, he can pick the rules, purse, anything. He’s said some stuff about ‘Chael just wants a big payday.’ My contract’s set. I’m getting a big payday either way...
“Chuck, the answer is yes. You’re the one that said no, you’re the one that said no a second time, you’re the one that’s pretending you want the fight. I’m fine with all of it but I don’t know what his endgame is. It’s not like he’s got sponsors so he’s trying to keep them out there. Who’s gonna sponsor him, some rehab clinic? It’s Chuck Liddell. This isn’t 1994 when the guy had a little bit of glory to his name.”
Ultimately, Sonnen doesn’t believe he and Liddell will ever fight. Sonnen says that he believes Liddell will actually return but that if he wanted to a fight with “The American Gangster” that would’ve already been set up. With that in mind, Sonnen is now looking ahead to hopefully fighting Fedor Emelianenko or a rematch with Tito Ortiz, though really, he basically wants to fight everyone.
“At the same time that [Chuck] didn’t say yes, he’s still in the gym training so I still believe there’s gonna be this Chuck comeback, I just don’t know where it’s gonna be. If it’s gonna be against me, it has to be in Bellator.
“The likely suspects for me: throw Fedor in there, throw Chuck in there, that’s the one I thought it was gonna be. I would like to fight Chuck, but the air has been taken out of my ball on that. I don’t believe that is going to happen. Then you’ve got Tito in there. Let’s just see what happens. It would be a lot shorter of a list if I told you who I didn’t want to fight.”
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SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Tongue out and everything too. Wild.
Kids are too springy to hit them with the crab, it’s a known fact.
Amazing!! I can’t even complete this submission on my 5 year old. Respect! https://t.co/gSDNGcDj8C— Chris Weidman (@ChrisWeidmanUFC) October 1, 2017
Alistair planting the seeds.
Hahahah Rico (the comedian) back at it! First saying who’s Alistair and then a second later calling me out for a kickboxing match. We both know that I fight in the 'King-Tiger league of real combat sports' so anybody wanting that fame, money - and real GLORY - come to the UFC. I’ll be happy to welcome anybody to the big boy league. If not stay at (little) Glory and keep on fighting in empty venues until Badr Hari is back.
Moving to Jackson-Wink.
Barao to ATT?
Good job, good effort.
After a brief hiatus, fight week is upon us once more and this time, hopefully, we’ll get to see if Demetrious Johnson can boost his resume even more by going for the record. Also, there’s a sort of strange interim title fight that is nonetheless an excellent scrap. Should be a fun week. Happy Monday and see y’all tomorrow.
Who becomes the interim lightweight champion this weekend?
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No one. Something will screw it up before then.
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