As everyone knows the fight between Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz is not going to happen, but what we didn’t know is that Liddell didn’t want the third rematch to happen in the first place.
“I was completely against it,” Liddell stated. “I told Dana (White) I don’t mind doing it if you think it’s going to be good for us or a good way for me to come back after some time off, but it made no sense for me to fight him.
And I never thought he planned on fighting me anyway,” added Liddell. “I didn‘t think he would end up fighting me. I thought it would be what it ended up being.”
And even after it was announced that Ortiz would coach opposite of Liddell on TUF 11, the fighter stated he still feels Forrest Griffin would have been a better coach and a better matchup.
“My final argument with Dana was at least make it the winner of Forrest and Tito,” said Liddell. “I would have much rather done it with Forrest. They felt they could push something with Tito and they thought there might be more TV magic or chemistry on the show because we don’t like each other.”
Liddell said he felt within a few weeks in the taping of the show that he knew he wouldn’t be fighting Ortiz at the end of the season.
“The first week he started saying, ‘I’m not going to fight Chuck unless I’m 100 percent.’ I actually made a phone call to Dana and said it sounds like he’s already back peddling about fighting me. Is he going to fight me?
He said, ’Oh we’ve got a signed contract. Don’t worry about it.’ Then a week later I hear from some of his guys on his team that he’s going to have surgery. Before he fights me he’s got to have neck surgery of something. I was like you’re kidding me. He’s already talking that he’s too hurt to fight me,” explained Liddell. “I called Dana again and he assured me, no, it’s set. The fight is going to happen. Don’t worry about it.”
Liddell stated that he feels Ortiz owes him the bout and if he does end up returning, White should make him Tito’s first fight back.
“I think because of the way it went down and what he did, I think if he wants to come back he should have to fight me,” stated the former champion. “If he comes back Dana should make him fight me his first fight back.
I’ve put in my time on the show. I had to deal with him for that long. I had to put up with him, so now I should actually get the reward and get to actually punch him in the face.”