Tito Ortiz Says He Approached the UFC About a Third Fight Against Chuck Liddell
There’s no doubt that Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell will go down as one of the greatest rivalries of all time.
Former training partners turned bitter enemies, Liddell got the better of Ortiz in their two fights in the UFC earning knockouts in both 2004 and 2006.
While Liddell has been retired from fighting since 2010, Ortiz kept competing until just recently when he submitted Chael Sonnen in Bellator before announcing the end of his own career in early 2017.
Over the past few months, Liddell has said he’s training and staying ready for a potential comeback with Ortiz as one of the fighters he’d be willing to face again should he return. Now according to Ortiz, he actually approached the UFC about making that fight when he was at the 2017 year end show as part of the team alongside women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg.
Ortiz says after mending fences with the UFC in recent months, he was willing to face Liddell a third time but he claims no one felt like the former light heavyweight champion could get medically cleared to compete again.
“I have a lot of interest level [in a third fight],” Ortiz told TMZ this week. “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.”
At 43, Ortiz had no plans to compete again and probably didn’t imagine Liddell did either after celebrating his 48th birthday but it certainly seems like some rivalries never die.
Ortiz says he’s still willing to consider the fight if Liddell can be cleared to compete again.
“It’s up to [the UFC]. I thought of it just because I guess 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,” Ortiz said. “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 where they had to kind of 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.”
Ortiz added that there’s no one else he would consider fighting outside of a trilogy rematch with Liddell.