Over the last few weeks, the MMA news cycle has repeatedly featured stories about a possible third fight between aging MMA legends Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz.
While it’s hard to imagine this fight coming to fruition in the year 2018, both UFC Hall-of-Famers have expressed interest in it, with Ortiz even admitting he pitched the fight to the UFC.
“I have a lot of interest level [in a fight with Liddell],” Ortiz recently told TMZ. “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.”
“I don’t know why I wouldn’t be [approved],” Liddell responded in his own chat with TMZ. “I’ve had medical exams for my mountain climbing show and I cleared with everything there so I should be just fine. We’ll have to see. If they don’t clear me, I’d be shocked. They’ve cleared a lot of people in a lot less shape than I am.”
While Liddell and Ortiz would appear to be on board with this fight, however, it won’t be happening in the UFC. Dana White shut that possibility down in a conversation with TMZ.
“No,” White said flat-out of the UFC promoting this trilogy bout (h/t BloodyElbow). “Chuck’s almost 50 years old. I love Chuck Liddell, but 50-year-olds shouldn’t be fighting.”
“I couldn’t do that fight. I love the guy. I love Chuck Liddell, I love him. As a friend, I don’t think he should fight. And anybody around him who cares about him shouldn’t let him fight either.”
While Dana White and the UFC won’t be promoting a third fight between Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell, the verdict is still out on Bellator, where Ortiz spent the last chapter of his career…
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/27/2018.