Year after year, there always seems to be some talk here and there about Chuck Liddell returning to MMA. From UFC 205 all the way up until some heat with Chael Sonnen, it always seems to be penciled in but never actually happens. …Until now. Our own Chris Taylor has just recently broke a report that Liddell is nearing a very profitable deal with Bellator for a career victory lap in their cage.
Breaking! According to sources close to the situation, former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell is closing in on a multi-million dollar fight deal with Bellator MMA.
— Chris Taylor (@CTaylor_96) March 2, 2018
The last news about the Chuck Liddell return was that Bellator president Scott Coker wasn’t sure he could promote the return, especially the potential fight between him and and another former light heavyweight champion, Tito Ortiz. It wasn’t because he didn’t think it’d sell, but that Liddell was still under some sort of contract with the UFC.
“My understanding is that Chuck [Liddell] is still under contract with the UFC. I’m not sure. I just thought that to be true. I don’t know the details, but when he retired, I think the contract freezes and they maintain some rights. Listen, is it a fight that would be fun to watch [between Liddell and Tito Ortiz]? I think if they both pass a physical and Tito was healthy and his neck was healthy and he was able to perform at a high level, and they were fighting, to me is it interesting? I would definitely watch it.” — Scott Coker speaking to MMA Fighting.
The two-fold circumstance of this reported deal may also come from Tito Ortiz approaching the UFC to close out the trilogy with Chuck Liddell. Dana White said that they weren’t interested in the fight at all. If there was any lingering contractual obligations that Liddell was under, they may have waved them in order for Liddell to do what he wants since the idea of him fighting again under their banner didn’t vibe.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/2/2018.