Chuck Liddell’s trilogy bout against Tito Ortiz was ‘The Iceman’s’ worst performance to date, but the UFC Hall of Famer is not willing to hang up the gloves just yet.
According to Ortiz, however, who knocked his longtime rival unconscious in the first round of their headlining bout under the Golden Boy Promotions banner, Liddell never should have stepped foot in the cage in the first place.
Liddell, the former UFC light heavyweight champion, hadn’t fought since his 2010 knockout loss to Rich Franklin at UFC 115, and the fan favorite clearly wasn’t prepared for his rematch with Ortiz.
‘The Huntington Beach Bad Boy’ believes Liddell’s time has passed and that his ex-UFC rival should try to make money elsewhere, perhaps as an ambassador for the sport.
“If I was his manager, then no,” said Ortiz when asked he would have let Liddell sign on for the fight (h/t Jose Youngs of MMA Fighting). “I would have told Chuck, ‘No, let’s get you an ambassador job. Let’s promote your name and get you to signings and do other means of making money.’”
With that said Ortiz, who suffered two stoppage losses to Liddell back in 2004 and 2006, doesn’t think anyone should step in and stop Liddell from fighting. If the former champ wants to continue fighting, that’s his prerogative.
“You can’t hold someone back,” Ortiz said. “If they feel something they want to do and they want to fight and continue to fight, then you’ve go to let them walk out on their own.
“So, If he still wants to fight, then let’s find him an opponent. Let’s find him someone that isn’t a Tito Ortiz.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Chuck. If wants to compete, then let him compete. Maybe not as a main event, of course. But let’s find him someone that’s a tune-up for him, because I’m not a tune-up fight.”
While Liddell may continue fighting, Ortiz announced his retirement at the post-fight press conference and claimed to be ‘done’ as a fighter. The 43-year-old plans to ‘give back to the fighters’ and continue his work as a promoter.