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Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz 3 to take place for Golden Boy Promotions

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Chuck Liddell will once again face rival Tito Ortiz
Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

MMA legends Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz have been wanting to put together a third fight for years, and now they’ve got their wish.

On Thursday, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya told ESPN that he has signed the two former UFC light heavyweight champions for a pay-per-view bout later this year. De La Hoya, known for his massive success in the world of boxing as both a fighter and a promoter, hinted that he might dip his toes into the world of MMA after having a meeting with Liddell in May.

Now that tease has become a reality.

“I’m proud to announce we’ve signed a deal for the fight between Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz,” De La Hoya told ESPN, via a statement. “This will be huge for sports fans around the world. Ortiz and Liddell are two of the most recognized fighters in MMA history. They are legends in the sport.

”Everyone remembers their rivalry helped put the sport on the map, and we’re excited to host the next and final chapter of this historic rivalry.”

Liddell, 48, and Ortiz, 43, first fought at UFC 47 in April 2004. That encounter came after a long buildup that saw Liddell chasing Ortiz for a championship fight. They would meet in a non-title bout that Liddell won by second-round KO.

A rematch would take place at UFC 66 two years later, this time with Liddell carrying the UFC light heavyweight championship. Liddell would again finish Ortiz strikes, this time in round three.

Liddell retired in 2010 after suffering five losses in his last six fights.

Ortiz followed suit in 2012 after losing a rubber match to Forrest Griffin, but he would return in May 2014 to compete for Bellator MMA. He won three of four fights for the promotion, including a high-profile grudge match with Chael Sonnen. After the Sonnen fight, Ortiz again announced his retirement, but he will step into the cage once again looking to finally defeat Liddell.

Liddell planted the seeds for a trilogy bout last year:

Why not?

A post shared by Chuck Liddell (@chuckliddell) on

The Liddell-Ortiz feud brought millions of eyeballs (and dollars) to the UFC and is credited with playing a major part in the boom of mixed martial arts in North America during the 2000s. Given their past success, Ortiz recently expressed optimism that a third Liddell bout had the potential to draw half-a-million PPV buys.

Per ESPN, the fight will take place in a cage, not a ring, and a promotional tour is being considered to promote the event later this year.

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