https://mmajunkie.com/2018/05/tito-orti ... ll-trilogyTito Ortiz announces he's coming out of retirement for Chuck Liddell trilogy
Tito Ortiz is now a free agent, and he’s again pushing for a trilogy fight with Chuck Liddell.
On his official Instagram page, Ortiz (19-12-1 MMA, 15-11-1 UFC) today announced he’s coming out of retirement to “give the fans the fight they have been waiting for.” He also indicated boxing star turned promoter Oscar De La Hoya should book the fight with Liddell (21-8 MMA, 16-6 UFC).
Reached for comment on a potential booking, Ortiz manager George Prajin clarified that no deal has been struck. De La Hoya recently indicated he is getting into the MMA business and told TMZ he was keen to book Ortiz and Liddell.
Ortiz recently cleared an exclusive negotiating period with the Viacom-owned Bellator, where he fought his widely announced retirement bout, submitting Chael Sonnen at Bellator 170 in January 2017. Bellator President Scott Coker confirmed to MMAjunke that Ortiz is not under contract.
Appearing this past month on the podcast “Bite the Mic,” Ortiz talked up a trilogy with Liddell, calling it a “Money Fight.” He questioned why UFC President Dana White wouldn’t want to book the fight while also casting White’s public opposition to the idea as evidence that he could win.
“I heard Dana said he didn’t want anything to do with it; Liddell shouldn’t fight,” Ortiz said. “He knows.”
After Liddell met earlier this month with De La Hoya in Los Angeles, White told “UFC Unfiltered” he had no interest in seeing the former light heavyweight champion fight.
“What I do hope is that (De La Hoya) is partnering up with Chuck Liddell and they are going to be partners other than have Chuck Liddell come in and fight,” White said. “If they are going to partner up in the MMA business, nothing will make me happier. That is awesome and I would love to hear if that is true for Chuck.
“If he plans on kicking off his MMA program with Chuck fighting, that would not be good and really, really bum me out. Chuck Liddell is almost 50 years old – he doesn’t need to be fighting.”
In a previous interview with MMAjunkie, Ortiz indicated there’d been a push to make a third fight with Liddell, but he’d given up on the idea after encountering resistance with White.
“I’m very comfortable in retirement now,” Ortiz said. “I guess Dana put the kibosh on me and Chuck, so I don’t know. It is what it is. I’m being the good guy by listening to the bosses at the end of the day. (I’m) not making decisions on myself, and if it’s meant to be, I’ll put it in God’s hands.”
Liddell hasn’t fought since June 2010, when he suffered a knockout loss to Rich Franklin that marked his third straight knockout loss. He officially retired later that year and took a job with the UFC as a brand ambassador. He owns two knockout wins over Ortiz, his former training partner and heated rival.