clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Morning Report: Tito Ortiz addresses recent Chuck Liddell beef: I didn’t retire because I got knocked out 4 times

New, 80 comments

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Bellator 170 photos
Tito Ortiz "buries" Chael Sonnen
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

It sounds like Tito Ortiz is happily retired.

The former UFC light heavyweight champion retired from MMA earlier this year after submitting Chael Sonnen at Bellator 170. But recently, Ortiz’s retirement came into question when former opponent Chuck Liddell posted a picture to Instagram of the two facing off with the caption: Why not?

Why not?

A post shared by Chuck Liddell (@chuckliddell) on

This post came on the heels of rumors circulating that Liddell was looking to come out of retirement and got fans stalking about a potential trilogy fight. It was not to be though as Ortiz responded on Twitter that he didn’t need the money but would lend Liddell some if he was in need. Later, he retracted the statement admitting that he was wrong and he recently spoke with Submission Radio to explain what happened with the picture and why he was so aggressive towards Liddell.

“I was at a poker event and he was at the same event also playing and the media wanted to take a face off picture and I said cool. Then we started walking towards the back [and he said], ‘let’s do another face off picture and let me post it.’ I was like, alright, cool. You know it’s not gonna happen but I guess he just wanted to get some play out of it, which he did.

“That night I said ‘why not.’ I said it on emotions. I probably shouldn’t have did that but at that time I had a couple drinks in me and The Bad Boy comes out every once in awhile. . . I did it all on emotions. I thought it was funny at the time and I apologized after.”

Ortiz and Liddell have faced each other twice before with Liddell stopping Ortiz in both fights. Their rematch for the light heavyweight title at UFC 66 was the most successful UFC event ever at the time, breaking the live gate record as well as topping over one million pay-per-view buys. A third fight between the two could potentially do very well for an organization like Bellator MMA, especially with with the built in storyline of this social media beef, but Ortiz insists that he is not going to put his body through anymore strain.

“I just don’t plan on fighting. I don’t plan on people trying to force me to fight. I have to get a neck surgery. Why would I even think about fighting? Why would I even think about risking myself physically? I’m too old to be fighting. I’m 42 years old. I’m too old. I’m not a Randy Couture and I really don’t need the cash right now so I’d rather make money by other means. Being in the gym six days a week, six to eight hours a day is not really in my idea of working anymore. That’s behind me now. I think I’ve done what I need to do and yeah, I think I can beat Chuck but I don’t need to do that anymore.”

And it’s hard to argue with that assessment. Ortiz retired as an early pioneer and one of the true legends of the sport. He’s a UFC Hall of Famer and one of the most successful champions in the history of the organization. Then, after leaving the UFC he ended his career by winning three of his last four bouts, including going out on top after submitting Sonnen in a main event fight. For Ortiz, leaving on a high note is better than being forced into retirement after suffering repeated knockout losses like Liddell.

“I left on my own terms. I left when I wanted to leave. I didn’t leave because I got knocked out four times in a row. I left when I needed to leave. I took the best I could possibly do and I walked away. I left on a storybook ending. No reason to come back and mess anything up.”


MUST-READ STORIES

Wow. Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor boxing match set for August 26.

Conor. Dana White says McGregor is “100 percent positive” he beats Mayweather.

Really. Mayweather Promotions CEO says they’d be “a bunch of damn fools” if they overlooked McGregor.

Did. Professional fighters reacted to the Mayweather-McGregor announcement.

It. Joe Lauzon says “toxic” attitude towards Reebok helps no one.


VIDEO STEW

Our reaction to the biggest news of the year.

This made the rounds recently, a release of Bruce Lee in an actual competition.

Some boxing folk reacting to the news.

TMZ with Dana.

Woot! Maia getting his shot!

Free fight.

Bobby Knuckles interview.

TTTHS.


LISTEN UP

The MMA Circus. Your boy is back to host the Circus.

One Punch Podcast. Catching up with the UFC and MayGregor stuff.

Heavy Hands. UFC recaps and previews along with fan questions.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

The Tweet everyone should be thinking about today.

Check the difference in retweets and likes.

The man who beat the man speaks.

It's gonna be a good fight for that #2 spot.

A post shared by natediaz209 (@natediaz209) on

Official poster.

People really like Boss Logic’s posters so here’s that.

Point.

WTH got into Wilson Reis? This is a terrible idea.

This proposed fight is heating up.

Best wishes.

Went for hand surgery this morning. Now recovery mode. Indo para sirugia agora hora de recuperação

A post shared by gloverteixeira (@gloverteixeira) on

Respect.

Don’t come at Angie unless you come correct.

Won’t put the whole thing here because it is long but Joe Lauzon and Mike Pierce (among others) engaged in an Twitter discussion about Lauzon’s Reebok stance if you wanna go hunt that up. Like I said, there’s a lot.

Damn. Congrats.

Good to hear it.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Floyd Mayweather Jr. (49-0) vs. Conor McGregor (0-0); Showtime Boxing, August 26.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2006: Hermes Franca submitted Brandon Olsen to retain the WEC lightweight championship at WE 21.

2013: Jake Shields out kickboxed Tyron Woodley at UFC 161. In the main event that evening, Rashad Evans won a split decision over Dan Henderson.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Well, it happened. I still can’t believe it. I was among the most vocal people saying this fight would never happen and my day of reckoning has come. I’m not one to shy away from being wrong and boy was I ever wrong. I’m interested to see the details that come out about the fight in the next few weeks because none of this makes sense to me. Conor is going to take his nine-figure payday and bounce from the combat sports world forever, as he should. No need to take head trauma when you have enough money for your children’s children and you have plenty of opportunities in other spaces awaiting you. I’m terribly sad we’ll never get Conor vs. Khabib because I think that’s the pinnacle of everything MMA ever could be, but good for Conor. Get in, get paid, get out.

Anyway, that’s it for today. Take it easy y’all and Conor bless.


If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting because we post dope things and you should enjoy it.