When you think about some of the greatest feuds in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, endless classics come to mind, Georges St.Pierre-Matt Hughes, Wanderlei Silva-Rampage Jackson, Sakuraba-Gracies, Jon Jones-Daniel Cormier, and Chael Sonnen-Anderson Silva. But perhaps one of the greatest feuds to ever happen in MMA is non other than Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell.
Last week during an exclusive in-studio interview with Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour, Liddell announced that he was definitely making a turn to MMA, expressing his desires to not only have a fight with former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones, but more specifically, a much anticipated trilogy fight with his longtime aforementioned rival Tito Ortiz.
For hardcore MMA fans who have followed the history of Liddell-Ortiz, you will understand not only the genuine bad blood between these two, but also the fact that Liddell defeated Ortiz decisively by TKO on both occasions.
Now 13 years later, with the two men feeling their business has been left unfinished now look to settle the score once and for all in what could be one of the more memorable fights in 2018 between two MMA icons, the only difference is it won’t be inside a UFC octagon, and if you ask Ortiz, that’s how he wants it. According to an interview Ortiz did with TMZ Sports , he shared his thoughts on why he wanted the potential rematch to be transpire elsewhere.
“I never got a fair shake when I was with the UFC against Chuck, any of the times I ever fought against him. Let’s do it under a different promotion. He explained.
“Tito Ortiz vs. Chuck Liddell III, the fight that all the fans wanted to see for the longest time and never got a chance to.”
The “fair shake” the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion might be referring to is the one that took place in their first bout back UFC 47 when Ortiz accused Liddell of an apparent eye poke prior to the KO loss which Ortiz described he momentarily saw nothing but black. Now poised to avenge the long standing loss, Ortiz wants a even plain field, and with the idea of the fight catching the interest of former multi-time world boxing champion turned promoter Oscar Del la Hoya and his Golden Boy Promotions brand, he may just get it.
“Let’s do it under Golden Boy Promotion” said Ortiz.
“He has a great background in promoting fights, some of the biggest fights in the world, and he bit on it, hook, line, and sinker. He’s in. Let’s see if we can make some history here.”
“I’m not exactly at the point where I can say where but when, October or November,” as Ortiz talked possible time frame when the fight could happen.
“That way we have some time to promote. We’ll do a world tour – kind of go around to talk smack to build up the fight.”
From hearing Tito Ortiz’s pitch of how this fight can happen, what organization it can happen with, an the promotional tool to build it, you’d think this fight won’t be that hard to make, but in reality there a couple of dilemmas that may cause the process to linger, age and ring rust. Both Liddell and Ortiz haven’t competed in a MMA cage for quite some time with Liddell retired from competition in 2010, and Ortiz retiring in 2017, but in Tito’s he doesn’t see his age stopping from getting redemption over his arch nemesis.
“I only retired a year ago,” said Ortiz.
“I got in the gym two weeks ago and let me tell you, I bounced back faster than I even imagined I could bounce back. I’ve always been in good shape, I take care of my body and I’ve got an opportunity to get redemption.
I’m the million dollar man so let’s make a couple more million kicking Chuck Liddell’s ass.
Do you think Oscar Del la Hoya will take Tito Ortiz up on his offer and promote this most talked about showdown?
When do you think it will happen?