On Saturday night, UFC Hall of Famers Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz will collide for a third time (watch here). They will do so as part of the first MMA event promoted by Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions.
Speaking at the final pre-fight press conference for this event, Chuck Liddell referred to this fight with Tito Ortiz as a “gamble.” Just as Ortiz has stated ahead of this trilogy fight, Liddell admitted that he will not be receiving a very big guaranteed purse, and that he only stands to earn a big payday if the pay-per-view performs well.
“It was taking a gamble,” Liddell told MMAjunkie at the press conference. “It wasn’t a big upfront (pay check). It’s taking a gamble that you’ll be successful, but it’s also a big home run if you win.”
Liddell added that he received offers from other promotions when he began floating the idea of a comeback, but the prospect of a ‘tune-up’ fight with his arch rival Tito Ortiz was enough to convince him this was the right move.
“I had offers everywhere,” Chuck Liddell said. “A lot bigger guarantees to fight anybody I wanted to pick. I could pick anybody. They didn’t care. The name, whoever I fought, they didn’t care. But I chose this over that because I think it’s a fight my fans want, and I think for me, it’s a closest thing to a tuneup fight that’s got a name to it that there is.”
“I expect it to be a cakewalk. He’s hoping that after 12 years, I’ve slowed down so much that he can actually beat me. That’s kind of what he’s said. He’s like, ‘Chuck’s over the hill. He’s slow now.’
“So, I’m going to beat him. I mean, basically, he’s saying he can’t beat me if I’m fast, and I’m still able to do things. The sad thing is, if he’s even convinced himself, which I don’t think he has, that he’s going to beat me, about 30 seconds into the fight, I can still stop his shot, I still hit really, really hard, and I’m still pretty fast. And he’s going to figure that out about a minute in and start looking for a way out.”
How do you think Chuck Liddell will perform in his Saturday rematch with Tito Ortiz?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/21/2018.