At 48 years old, former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell has announced that he’ll be returning to mixed martial arts.
“I will fight again,” Liddell said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour.
“It’s a real thing. They’re working on it.”
For quite some time now, Liddell has teased a potential return to action and in addition to that, rumors of a third fight between him and longtime rival Tito Ortiz have been swirling in recent months. Liddell then continued to stir the pot when he posted a picture to social media earlier this month following a meeting with Oscar de la Hoya.
De la Hoya, the head of Golden Boy Promotions, has expressed his interest in promoting MMA and Liddell confirmed that his return bout very well could take place under the Golden Boy Promotions banner, possibly in November in either California or Las Vegas.
And as far as an opponent goes, Ortiz is obviously at the top of Liddell’s list, although “The Iceman” said that he’ll return regardless of whether or not he’s standing across from Ortiz in the cage:
“It does not hinge on Tito’s participation,” Liddell said.
“I miss it. I never stopped missing it. And I kinda hadn’t really thought about it much. And then when he brought it up and we started getting going, and I started training and I started doing stuff again, getting ready to try to take this on, it made me go, ‘You know what, what if he pulls out? Am I not going to fight? Am I going to do all of this and not fight?’ Oh no, we had to have somebody backing up, and if it doesn’t work out with him, I’m [still] going to give it a shot. It’ll be somebody else, one of the guys from my past probably, most likely, and we’ll see where I’m at.”
Liddell and Ortiz possess one of the deepest rivalries in the history of the sport, fighting twice at UFC 47 in 2004 and UFC 66 in 2006 with Liddell winning both bouts via TKO. In more recent memory, however, “The Iceman” finished out his UFC tenure losing five of his last six bouts with four of those losses coming via stoppage.
He then retired in 2010 and will now fight for the first time in over eight years.