During last weekend’s TUF 10 finale, Dana White announced that Chuck Liddell would return to the UFC to face Tito Ortiz for the third time, after the pair agreed to coach the forthcoming season of the show.
White had previously been opposed to Liddell continuing to fight, stating publicly that he felt the fighter should retire after suffering two knockout losses in a row.
In a radio interview on the Savage Dog Show this week, WEC General Manager Reed Harris, who has been good friends with Liddell for a number of years, had his own theory on how Liddell managed to change his mind.
“[I think that Chuck went to Dana and] said ‘I’ll train my ass off, and live a clean lifestyle, do things right, and I’ll give you that commitment, I’ll make that guarantee if you’ll let me fight’…and I think with that in front of him Dana said ‘OK.”
During the interview Harris mentioned that Liddell has one fight left on his contract, and revealed that as part of his commitment to focusing on his training Liddell has been working on his jiu jitsu with Eddie Bravo at the 10th Planet gym.
He also went on to discuss whether Liddell could indeed make a successful return to the UFC.
“He is the most recognized, the most famous fighter out there, and with that comes a lot of distractions,” Harris, who was on the show to promote the forthcoming WEC 45 event on December 19th, said.
“He’s seen that now. He’s seen the light. He’s now training, he’s up in San Luis with his family, he’s going to lock himself down, and I think if he does that…we may well see Chuck Liddell for quite a while.”
Liddell, who turns 40 on the 17th of December, will begin filming season 11 of The Ultimate Fighter in January, and should air in early April.
No date has yet been set for his fight with Ortiz.