It’s happening. MMA legends and former UFC light heavyweight champions, Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell will finally have their trilogy fight.
Liddell vs Ortiz is one of MMA’s all-time greatest rivalries. Dating all the way back to 2004, the bad blood still runs deep for the legends.
Each has agreed to come out of retirement where they will meet for a third time under an Oscar De La Hoya promoted MMA event.
Showing up for UFC’s international fight week and Hall of Fame ceremony, Ortiz caught up with the media where he didn’t mince words when speaking of Liddell to MMAJunkie.
“F*ck that guy. We’re not friends. We’re not companions. We’re not acquaintances. If he wants to write me off, I’ll write him off too. This is a fight, and I’m going to kick his ass, and I’m going to get redemption for it.”
In both of Liddell and Ortiz’ first two outings, Liddell came away as the victor via knockout. Having not fought in eight years, Liddell is confident that he can produce the same results.
However, Ortiz dropped a very interesting nugget in his interview with MMAJunkie about how he’ll be paid for the bout and why it proves how badly he wants this fight.
“This fight, I’m not getting paid no money. I’m not getting a million dollar payday guaranteed. I make money when someone buys the pay-per-view. I make money when someone buys a ticket to the fight. My job is to perform the way I’ve always performed over the last 21-and-a-half years. That’s what I’m going to do. No base purse. That’s how bad I want this fight.
This is important to me. I’m coming in as a partner. I believe in my fans. I believe in Chuck Liddell’s fans. I believe in the promotion De La Hoya can do. They want to see me beat Chuck Liddell and get my hand raised over him…they’ll tune into this pay-per-view.”
With their last fight coming in 2006, Ortiz still believes he has something to prove and people to silence.
Only time will tell if the third time will be the charm for ‘The Huntington Beach Bad Boy’.
“Everything else before was fabricated. I’m fighting for an opportunity for my name. Before I got pushed into something I didn’t want to do, and I got pushed into something where people would call me a p*ssy, people say I’m not a tough fighter, and I’m afraid of Chuck. When you have those things around you, and you don’t want to fight the fight, how do you train and prepare for that fight?
Now that I want to fight, and it’s on my own terms. He’s not my friend, he doesn’t sleep on my couch anymore, he doesn’t clean his dirty-ass feet on my couch anymore. It’s just one those things where he used to spar with me all the time and wrestle with me all the time. We’re the ones that made up the wall-walk. He’s not my friend, he’s not my acquaintance. He’s my enemy, and my job is to beat his ass.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/6/2018