Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz Have Agreed to a Third Fight, 14 Years After First UFC Battle
Would you pay to watch these MMA old-timers complete their trilogy?
The two brawlers have inked a deal with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, a boxing outfit that is making its first foray into MMA.
“I’m proud to announce we’ve signed a deal for the fight between Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz,” De La Hoya told ESPN. “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.”
The fight will mark Liddell’s long awaited return to the cage. He last fought in 2010, losing by knockout to Rich Franklin. It was his third loss in a row, and at the time, MMA president Dana White pushed him to retire for his own good. Liddell has spent the last eight years acting, among other things. Perhaps you remember his classic Entourage scene:
The 48-year-old has spoken in recent months about his desire to return to the sport he helped launch. “I will fight again, yeah,” he said in May. “I miss it. I never stopped missing it.” And he certainly looks ready to jump back into the cage.
Ortiz, unlike Liddell, never truly left MMA behind. His last fight came earlier this year when he defeated Chael Sonnen by submission. The 43-year-old will be looking for his first win over Liddell, who beat Ortiz in 2004 and 2006 in two of biggest MMA fights in the sport’s early days.
Ortiz and Liddell are hardly the only aging fighters still mixing it up. Bellator just announced that Fedor Emelianenko and Chael Sonnen, both 41, will fight in mid-October as a part of its heavyweight Grand Prix.
Emelianenko advanced to the tournament semis by knocking out former UFC champ Frank Mir in 48 seconds last April. Sonnen won a unanimous decision over Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, also a one-time UFC champ.