It’s official, UFC hall-of-famer Chuck Liddell is out of retirement at the ripe old age of 48.
“I will fight again,” Liddell confirmed on this week’s edition of ‘The MMA Hour’ radio show.
“It’s a real thing. They’re working on it.”
A comeback has seemed on the cards for some time now, though speculation intensified after Liddell was spotted alongside boxing superstar turned promoter Oscar De La Hoya, who is eager to move into the MMA space and is eager to put on a trilogy fight between ‘The Iceman’ and Tito Ortiz.
Liddell would be only too happy to get another chance to lay hands on his old rival, who he has previously finished twice with strikes in the UFC, but he’s also made a point of stating that even if Ortiz pulled out, he still wants to fight again.
“It does not hinge on Tito’s participation,” Liddell said.
“I miss it. I never stopped missing it. And I kinda hadn’t really thought about it much. And then when he brought it up and we started getting going, and I started training and I started doing stuff again, getting ready to try to take this on, it made me go, ‘You know what, what if he pulls out? Am I not going to fight? Am I going to do all of this and not fight?’ Oh no, we had to have somebody backing up, and if it doesn’t work out with him, I’m [still] going to give it a shot. It’ll be somebody else, one of the guys from my past probably, most likely, and we’ll see where I’m at.”
One man who doesn’t want to see the fight is Liddell’s friend and ex-boss Dana White, who thinks it would be a bad idea for the former champion to step back into the cage, but that’s not something that’s troubling the legendary fighter.
“It’s [White’s] opinion. It’s how he feels, and that’s okay with me. You’re entitled to your opinion and what you think. Everybody’s entitled to their opinion. If I can’t fight, if I don’t feel like I can perform or go out there and perform, I wouldn’t. But I feel like I can still perform, especially enough to beat Tito, so I’ll be ready.”
Liddell’s ambitions stem beyond just having one more fight though – he actually wants to get back to the very summit of the MMA mountain and go up against arguably the best fighter of his generation, Jon Jones.
“In my mind, I would like two good warm up fights, and I’d like a shot at Jon Jones,” Liddell said. “I am serious, I’d like a shot at him. We will see. Just, match styles.”
Upon hearing this, Jones quickly took to social media to take a few verbal jabs at his elder.
“Old Chuck has been calling me out for years!” Jones wrote on Twitter. “I get it, I hold pretty much every record in the division. I normally try to respect my elders but if you want it come get it. Id literally fly you out to Albuquerque this weekend.”
“You might want to test the strength of that jaw before you take a bite you cant chew.”