Well, that escalated fast.
What started as a simple photo op between former UFC light heavyweight champions and longtime rivals Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz has escalated into a war of words over social media.
First, the photo, which Liddell posted to his Instagram over the weekend:
Sunday, Ortiz attempted to troll Liddell on Twitter, saying “I don’t need the money” and offering to give him a loan.
@Chuckliddell because I don't need the money. Suck that you need the money. I can lend you some cash if so. photo https://t.co/fBTF4glGZq— Tito Ortiz (@titoortiz) June 4, 2017
Monday, Liddell went ballistic, saying telling Ortiz that while “I heard you changed for the better,” that he must be “still the same piece of shit I've punked on numerous occasions.”
We took the pic as requested by the media. You knew I was going to post it, u posed for it. I heard you ... https://t.co/5rgdVk6DgA https://t.co/PYrwHFxr8Q— Chuck Liddell (@ChuckLiddell) June 5, 2017
“We took the pic as requested by the media,” Liddell wrote. “You knew I was going to post it, u posed for it. I heard you changed for the better but with your lack of class and character i knew it was impossible. Some encouraged me to give you a shot saying Amber changed u. Judging from your tweet you're still the same piece of sh*t I've punked on numerous occasions. Now we know who the real trash was, you can't blame @jennacantlose any more. Man up! Now let me borrow some money b*tch, where should we meet up I need it soon!”
The Liddell-Ortiz rivalry was critical to helping fuel the Zuffa-era MMA boom. Liddell won their first fight via second-round knockout at UFC 47. Their rematch, at UFC 66, was at the time far and away the biggest event in UFC history, drawing the company’s first $5M gate and first million-buy-PPV. Liddell won that one via TKO in the fourth round, successfully defending the 205-pound belt.
Ortiz, for his part, has retired twice, most recently after his win over Chael Sonnen at Bellator 170 in January. Liddell retired to a UFC front office job following his UFC 115 loss to Rich Franklin in 2010, which was his fourth KO loss in his last six fights.
But with Liddell being cut from his UFC job late last year, speculation has run rampant on a potential return. Scott Coker, CEO of Bellator, which would seem the most likely landing spot for such a fight, recently indicated the company would talk to both Liddell and Matt Hughes, also let go by the UFC, when the time was right.
Update: Ortiz apologized to Liddell over Twitter on Monday.
.@ChuckLiddell you are correct I was wrong with my reply.I said something that night after the pic was posted on pure emotion. #MyBad— Tito Ortiz (@titoortiz) June 5, 2017