Perhaps a hint at something more?
A lot of athletes have trouble walking away from their professional careers. It’s understandable that after the years under the bright lights, the thrill of competition and the exhilaration of victory, and the fame and glory that comes with all of that, fighters in particular end up with the itch to give it one more go.
All of this leads to today’s tidbit in which UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell and fellow HOFer and former UFC champion Tito Ortiz were in an image shared via Instagram in a mock face-off. Perhaps this may not mean much other than two former kings of what was once the sport’s marquee division having a bit of fun on social media. Then again, Liddell has been noncommittal about staying retired when asked if he’d return to the sport. We’ve seen recent footage of him having a friendly sparring session with Randy Couture, and even his former coach stated that he’d only return if the circumstances and opponent were right.
Well, could this be the opportunity that brings him back?
The image below simply had the caption “Why not?“, and with both men free from the UFC contractual obligations, it certainly seems possible. Ortiz recently retired after his January win over Chael Sonnen at Bellator 170, but he could be key to greasing the wheels for setting the table for at least a negotiation.
After all, we’ve seen Bellator put on fights with older fighters in recent years. With Ortiz not being too far removed from his last fight, it doesn’t seem like an outlandish possibility. Liddell fought and finished Ortiz twice, so maybe Ortiz may have some legitimate interest in getting some payback here.
This would be Liddell’s first fight since 2010, where he suffered a knockout loss to former middleweight champion Rich Franklin. That was the third in a string of consecutive losses that also included knockouts at the hands of Rashad Evans and Mauricio Rua. Liddell’s last win was a unanimous decision win over Wanderlei Silva in December of 2007. Liddell is currently 47 years old, and one has to wonder what condition he would be in to actually fight despite appearing to be in great physical shape for his age.
We’ll find out one way or another, especially with Tito’s enthusiasm for posting on social media when something big happens.