Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz were supposed to do battle at the end of The Ultimate Fighter's heavyweight season (11) featuring the likes of Kimbo Slice and Matt "Meathead" Mitrione, but Tito's neck surgery and Liddell's loss to Rich Franklin put the fight in serious doubt. There are a lot of MMA fans who think it must be a lost cause, but obviously both men signed some type of contract, and this fight will most likely happen sometime after Tito's next fight.
Liddell has not formally retired and Ortiz is set to fight Matt Hamill on October 23, 2010 at UFC 121. This is a challenging match for Ortiz, just as the Franklin fight was for Liddell. If Ortiz loses to Hamill Liddell will be his next logical step. If Ortiz wins in dramatic or impressive fashion he'll want a bigger name and someone closer to a title. Dana White could also demand Liddell and Ortiz fight after UFC 121 on his own, and it will be the perfect last chance for Chuck Liddell.
Whether Liddell should fight or not is another question, but if he wants to and thinks he can still battle who can stop him? He's not getting any younger, and he can still attract fans based on his name and legacy alone. Not to mention he broke Rich Franklin's arm before losing to him by that awful KO in his last outing. The UFC 115 loss to Franklin gave Chuck an excuse to hang up his gloves, but he hasn't made any formal announcement to quit. Dana White did say he could guarantee Liddell wouldn't fight in the UFC again, but he's not someone who never goes back on his word. Chuck is a warrior, and he wants to fight again and will.
He ought to be able to fulfill his contract and make one last appearance against Ortiz. Don't be surprised if Matt Hamill hangs in and has the best fight of his life against Tito and makes that Liddell fight inevitable by beating Ortiz in a close decision. Also, consider the fact that Dana White and Chuck Liddell are personal friends and if Chuck really wants to come back and shows he's in shape to compete again Dana will pull the trigger and give the fans the fight they didn't get to see due to technical difficulties.
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There must have been more than a few fans who predicted Rashad Evans and Rampage Jackson would never fight, but they did. Even after Jackson's "A-Team" hiatus, he fulfilled his contractual obligations and fought Evans in a fight he could have won if he'd trained a little harder. Liddell won't make that same mistake, and if Ortiz has any trouble with Hamill at all the Ortiz vs. Liddell fight will start looking better and better.
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