Chuck Liddell Returns – Breaking news that 48 year old former UFC champion Chuck Liddell is in negotiations for a trilogy closing bout with Tito Ortiz.
Last week, Oscar De La Hoya and his Golden Boy Promotions announced that the promoter intended to delve into the world of Mixed Martial Arts, so when Liddell stated he was working on fighting Tito Ortiz for GBP on “The MMA Hour” it was not a complete surprise.
Do you even remember the last time we saw Liddell competing? In June of this year it will be 8 years. You have to go back to June of 2010 when he was knocked out by Rich Franklin. That fight was a trilogy closer of sorts, as it marked the third time in a row that Liddell was brutally knocked out. Before the Franklin fight, Liddell faced calls to retire and after that UFC 115 meeting, Liddell’s close friend Dana White even made poignant calls for the “Iceman” to hang them up. Since then, Liddell has floated around apparently enjoying his retirement and cashing a consultant salary with the UFC.
Chuck Liddell Returns
The fact is that Liddell looked old and slow in his final run with the UFC from 2008-2010. His chin was exposed as fragile, and he was left twitching on the octagon canvas on several occasions.
What makes the rumor scary is that Liddell himself mentioned it. Now, what does White think of Liddell’s return after he ushered him into retirement? If he wanted to block it, he could withhold Chuck’s salary, or even text him like a good friend and say “don’t do it.”
The bottom line is that GBP’s De La Hoya is a player in his own right. Some estimates put his war chest at over $100 million dollars and in the boxing world he owns Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. With his brand taking a big hit this year as Alvarez’ big “Cinco de Mayo” fight went by the wayside amid steroid allegations, De La Hoya looking to diversify into MMA is a predictable move. Perhaps it was a day where his sobriety program wasn’t fully in place, but Oscar has challenged Conor McGregor in public. Oscar smells money.
The truth is that if Oscar has cleared the idea with Dana, then that is one of the major hurdles to a Liddell comeback being overcome. For money and ego, if Oscar and Chuck are doing business, it is because White is OK with it in some way, shape or form.
Just like his chin and his relflexes aren’t getting any better, Chuck probably isn’t any smarter either. He is going to want to fight. Ortiz is over 40 and they will be able to sell the nostalgia. But on the “MMA Hour” he was taling bout a couple of fights and then facing Jon Jones. Stay home Chuck, it is better.
Since Nevada would be the scene of any Liddell return, it will be interesting to see what the Nevada State Commission does when he files for a license. At 48 and with his history (do you count the time he fell asleep passed out on a morning TV show as a “knock out?”) they should probably not clear him to fight. But it is probable that they will smell the same thing Oscar does.
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