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Fightweets: Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz 3 might be so wrong, it’s right

Liddell 2006 Getty Images

You’ve got questions, I’ve got answers. Shall we?

Liddell-Ortiz 3?

@_JonathanDGAF: What’s your opinion on a potential Tito Vs Chuck fight in Bellator?

I think it’s time to stage an intervention, folks. My name is Dave Doyle, and I’m a Bellator legends fights addict. There, I feel better just for admitting it.

What can I say? I’m a sucker for them. Maybe it was because I was there cageside the night in San Diego three years ago when Tito Ortiz fought Stephan Bonnar, and the crowd absolutely ate it up. The bout was ruthlessly mocked throughout the buildup, and it was like watching two guys fight under water.

I know going in that legends fights are probably going to be terrible. For every Kimbo Slice vs. Ken Shamrock which ends up interesting, there’s three Kimbo vs. DaDa5000 fights, which go from hilarious to nearly tragic.

And yet when an idea for a new Bellator legends fight surfaces, usually when enough time has passed to forget how bad the previous one might have been, I find myself wanting to sign on in spite of myself. I’m clearly not the only one, because these fights still bring in the ratings, and as long as that keeps happening, Bellator will keep providing.

Which brings us to Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz. Speculation has ramped up in recent weeks about whether Liddell and Matt Hughes, who were given front-office jobs to retire so many years ago, will come out of retirement now that they’re no longer being paid not to fight. Liddell, for his part, threw fuel on the fire last weekend by posing for a photo online with Ortiz, which led to Ortiz predictably taking it a little too seriously, which escalated further before Ortiz backed off.

Then logic reasserts itself, reminding you that Liddell is 47 years old, and that toward the tail end of his career, his fights all seemed to end with The Iceman on the canvas. There’s also the idea that, you know, Ortiz had his big sendoff back in January, a perfect high-note finish, which also happened to be his second big sendoff.

But Ortiz has never been one to leave well enough alone. He lost to Liddell both times they fought. If he could make a big payday off what would undoubtably be a huge event, would he really pass it up? And in Liddell’s case, I mean, it’s not like we’d be sending him out there to fight Daniel Cormier or Jon Jones. Which might be better than what you can say about throwing 43-year-old Mark Hunt, who’s been knocked out three times in the past two-and-a-half years, into a fight with a killer like Derrick Lewis this weekend.

Which brings us back to the same conclusion we aways come back to: You can list all the reasons why it’s wrong, but I’d watch, you’d watch, and that critic who says he hates the fight will also watch while making sure everyone sees him shaking his head in disapproval while he’s actually, you know, watching. Until the day the public tires of them and stops making them profitable for Viacom, thus it will remain.

What next a featherweight?

@danjwareing: If Aldo stays at 145 would it make sense to give him Cub and the winner gets the winner of Edgar / Holloway?

Jose Aldo’s the big question mark as the 145-pound division moves forward following his crushing title loss to Max Holloway last weekend at UFC 212 . The defeat sure seemed to mark the definitive end to the Aldo era. You can write off the flash loss to Conor McGregor at UFC 194 as a simple matter of getting caught, something which can happen to any fighter. Taking an epic beatdown in front of your home fans is something altogether different. When Aldo returns, will he have the same fire and confidence as he did on his way up?

And that doesn’t even take into account it’s likely to be a good long while before he returns. He took long breaks under the best of circumstances. This time, if he goes through another one of his public pouty phases before agreeing to his next fight, the UFC is less likely to humor him than when he was champ.

In the meantime, Holloway vs. Edgar is the fight to make at 145. Edgar’s 7-0 at featherweight when not fighting Aldo, including a finish of Swanson. Holloway, as spectacular as he is, still isn’t all the way there as a drawing card. A victory over a fighter the caliber of the former UFC lightweight champ would give him three straight wins over former UFC titleholders and do more than any other bout (save McGregor, which isn’t happening any time soon) to help get him there.

It’s not that Cub Swanson’s far off. With four straight wins, he’s basically the third horse in this race behind Holloway and Edgar. But given Swanson has lost to both Holloway and Edgar, his best bet is to let that play out and keep winning. Who knows, a meeting between Swanson and the winner of the UFC 214 Ricardo Lamas-Jason Knight fight might be the one to make.

Fighters associations

@CodyAM1993: It’s been over a year since the creation of multiple fighter unions, yet, no true movement...what will it take to get unionization in MMA?

I’m more convinced than ever that we’re never going to see a real fighters’ union or association take hold. The timing never would have been better than last year, in the wake of the UFC sale, for something big to go down. Then the MMAAA had their big rollout last year and ... and, one by one, the big names involved, from Donald Cerrone to Georges St-Pierre to T.J. Dillashaw, all dropped off. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

What I do think we’ll see, however, is the continued trend toward fighters losing their fear of speaking out against the big machine. Demetrious Johnson laid bare all the alleged tactics the UFC tried to throw his way. Would that have happened two, three, five years ago? And not only did DJ speak out, but other fighters within the company, such as Daniel Cormier, who like DJ has also been a good company man, have been unafraid to back him up .

(Side note: In back-to-back weeks, on UFC Tonight, we’ve seen Gegard Mousasi given air time to say he’s not happy with the UFC’s latest contract offer, and DC take the UFC to task over DJ. Given that on FS1, we’re used to having Megan Olivi nod along and tell Dana White he’s right when White says not to believe the media, it will be interesting to see if this new direction the show seems to be taking becomes permanent).

Predictions for the rest of the year

@SlayKatzNY: We are 6 months into the year. Look into your crystal ball - what will be the 2 biggest MMA news stories of the final half of the year?

Here goes: Conor knocks out Floyd Mayweather, leading to a rematch for even more money than the first fight ... wait, is this thing working? (shakes the crystal ball a bit) ... Okay let’s try again: Michael Bisping comes back from his knee injury, says no to GSP because he wants to silence his detractors, knocks out Yoel Romero, and then turns right back around and wins a rematch with Luke Rockhold ... wait, c’mon now (shakes crystal ball violently) ... Cormier and Jones actually make it to the Octagon with no further injuries, suspensions, or weigh-in issues ... okay, that’s it, this thing’s got a bug. Let me return this to sender and get back to you.

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