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Morning Report: Tito Ortiz ‘interested’ in Chuck Liddell fight: I don’t need to fight, but if Chuck needs to, I’ll give him a payday

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ESTHER LIN/MMAFIGHTING.COM

Last year, rumors began to stir that Chuck Liddell was looking to come out of retirement and make a return to MMA. Shortly afterwards, Liddell stoked those flames with an Instagram post of himself and Tito Ortiz squaring off, with the caption ‘Why not?’ That post got Ortiz to take a shot at Liddell over Twitter, claiming no interest in a third fight with his former foe and suddenly, there was real heat for a trilogy bout. Ortiz would later admit he acted out of turn with his reply but the groundwork seems to have been laid and now, Ortiz is having a change of heart.

Speaking recently with TMZ Sports, Ortiz said that he has “a lot of interest” in a third fight with Liddell and that he pitched the idea to the UFC at the start of the year, but that the issue will be getting Liddell a license to fight.

“I have a lot of interest level,” said Ortiz. “Actually, on New Year’s, I asked the matchmakers for the UFC if they’d ever want to do a Chuck Liddell-Tito Ortiz III and he kind of looked at me and laughed and said, ‘Chuck couldn’t pass to fight again. He’s been knocked out, unconscious, five times.’ I guarantee you the doctor won’t give him a license.”

Liddell is 48 years old and hasn’t competed since 2010, a knockout loss to Rich Franklin at UFC 115. He ended his career riding a three-fight losing skid, all of them by way of brutal knockout, but the fire to compete still lingers on. Liddell recently said he was “staying ready” for a possible return, even throwing Ortiz’s name out as a potential opponent though he suggested Ortiz “wouldn’t even consider” fighting him again.

Apparently, Ortiz would though. Ortiz retired last January after submitting Chael Sonnen at Bellator 170 in a revenge match from their old wrestling days and up until now, he has maintained no interest in fighting again. But with the prospect of getting one back against his biggest rival now seriously on the table, Ortiz says he’s willing to be “a good friend” to Liddell and it’s up to the UFC to pull the trigger on make the third fight happen.

“It’s up to them,” said Ortiz. “I thought of it just because I was pumped because of the UFC in general, being back in the house, but I don’t know. I would like another go at it. I left on a high stool of choking Chael within two-and-a-half minutes. My body’s fine. I know Chuck Liddell’s been knocked out unconscious to the point where they had to give him the smelling salts to make him feel better but he’s looking to be a paycheck. I understand it. I have other businesses, and it’s not a hurry for me to fight. I don’t want to fight, I don’t need to fight, but if Chuck needs to, I’ll be a good friend like he was once and give him a payday.”

Liddell and Ortiz previously fought at both UFC 47 and UFC 66. Liddell won both bouts by TKO.


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SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Oh please, oh please, oh please.

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Maybe the best callout of all time.

And one that makes no sense for Ponzinibbio.

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2009: Diego Sanchez won a unanimous decision over Joe Stevenson in the main event of UFC 95.

2010: Cain Velasquez knocked out Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 110, setting Velasquez up for a title fight against Brock Lesnar.

Also that evening, Wanderlei Silva made his middleweight debut, winning a decision over Michael Bisping.

2013: Emanuel Newton knocked out Muhammed Lawal with a spinning backfist at Bellator 90.

Also that evening, Shahbulat Shamhalaev won the Bellator Season 7 featherweight tournament by knocking out Rad Martinez.

2016: Cody Garbrandt began his impressive 2016 campaign by knocking out Augusto Mendes at UFC Fight Night 83.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Take it easy and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL

Poll

Liddell-Ortiz III, who ya got?

This poll is closed

  • 42%
    Chuck
    (552 votes)
  • 57%
    Tito
    (752 votes)
1304 votes total Vote Now

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