Last week, after several months of rumors and speculation, it was announced that UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell would be coming back to fighting after being retired for nearly a decade in a bout versus his longtime rival, Tito Ortiz.
However, the bout is not being contested in the UFC or even Bellator but in Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions first foray into the world of mixed martial arts.
Liddell, who is now 48, has been talking about returning for quite some time now but it may now be too late for the aging legend and although he had an easy time in his first two bouts with Ortiz, now more than 10 years ago, at this point in time, Tito is a very dangerous fight for the returning Liddell.
Liddell was pretty much forced to retire in 2010 after getting brutally knocked out in several of his fights, often by punches that didn’t look like they had a whole lot behind them which Liddell probably would have taken with no problems in his prime.
Following his retirement, Liddell was promised a cushy, no-show job with the UFC that was supposed to be a permanent position but when the WME took over and started cutting costs, Liddell’s job, along with many other similar positions, was gone with the wind and that may be part of the reason why we’re seeing Liddell return here.
As previously stated, while Ortiz was an easy fight for Liddell back in the day, if you look at his last several contests in Bellator before his so-called ‘retirement’, Tito was looking pretty damn good, defeating the likes of Alexander Shlemenko, Stephan Bonnar as well as Chael Sonnen in his last career fight and even looked great in a losing title effort versus Liam McGeary where we saw glimpses of the old Tito.
Ortiz is also 43 to Chuck’s 48 and also last fought in January 2017 versus Liddell’s 2010 bout versus Rich Franklin so he will have nowhere near the same kind of ring rust that Liddell will most certainly have come fight time.
Liddell, while certainly being one of the greatest and most influential fighters of all time, also doesn’t appear very realistic in recent interviews and seems to be taking Ortiz lightly and has even made some pretty ridiculous comments that he wants to fight Jon Jones after this bout.
If Chuck Liddell is dead-set on returning, a better fight for him would be against someone more his own fight age who’s also been out of action for a long time, such as a Ken Shamrock or even another former longtime rival like Randy Couture which would better gauge his abilities and see where he’s at before fighting someone who has been recently active and successful at that too.
Time and time again we’ve seen legendary fighters who were once great not know when to hang them up and Liddell’s upcoming comeback bout versus Ortiz is unfortunately probably going to end up being the epitome of that come fight night.