Chuck Liddell might be returning to cage.
It’s rare in MMA that legendary fighters stick to their first retirements. There are several examples of that. Tito Ortiz retired after losing to Forrest Griffin a second time, only to return to the sport two years later to join Bellator MMA. Georges St-Pierre couldn’t resist the pull of the cage and will be returning later this year to fight Michael Bisping.
Randy Couture came out of retirement to win the UFC heavyweight title once upon a time. With all of that said, it shouldn’t surprise many that someone who was basically dragged away from fighting by Dana White, former light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell, would be possibly thinking about a return.
A few months ago, there were rumors of Liddell possibly returning to fighting, and this led to former UFC fighter turned Bellator MMA competitor Chael Sonnen calling him out for a fight in the UFC’s rival promotion. Liddell appeared on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour to talk with Ariel Helwani about a possible comeback.
“I don’t think the itch to fight has ever left me, ever,” Liddell said on the 400th episode of The MMA Hour. “I mean, I got paid to do what I love for a living, and I got paid very well to do it. So that’s going to always be there. That’s always going to be like, ‘Man, I wouldn’t mind getting out there again.’ That’ll always be there, and then it’s just that battle of should I? Or, is it the right thing to do? That’s what it all comes down to.”
“I have had people that I was doing some promotional stuff with go, ‘You know, we had an idea. We should have, like, a legends fight,’” Liddell said. “It’s always that. That conversation always comes up when we’re talking about doing some promotion for a company, or helping them promote their league. The conversation always leads to, ‘Have you ever thought about doing a legends fight?’ Like, ‘We have this new idea, we’re thinking about a legends fight.’ New idea, yeah, that’s brand new. No, it always comes up. But it’s just, in the right situation, if they offered enough money, and my body would hold up to getting in shape, I’m not saying I’d say no.”
Liddell has not fought since June of 2010 and is now 47 years old. He decided to retire after losing five of his last six bouts, four of them by vicious knockout. Liddell made his name known after knocking out grapplers by using his wrestling in reverse.
“Talk about if I had to pick an easy big-name fight to come back to,” Liddell said. “If I ease into fighting again, I mean, a warm-up fight, that’s the one you’re talking about.
“I love Chael and I don’t pay much attention to what he says because he’s one of those guys that, he made a name for himself by talking a lot of trash, and he runs his mouth. And he did that because he was a boring fighter. I mean, he was not that exciting, if I’m trying to be nice. But he wasn’t that exciting to watch fight. He was a throwback to a lay-and-pray guy. But, he made a name for himself and he made a great career with it, and you know, it’s that cartoonish trash talk. He’s like a WWE guy. It’s over the top, it’s always funny, he’s always trying to be funny. And actually, I know the guy, he’s a nice guy. He’s just all business here. So it’s hard to watch that and get upset about him trash-talking. It’s just weird.”
So there you have it. It appears that Liddell is happily retired and a comeback fight will not happen. Bellator MMA officials have plenty of options for Sonnen as he could fight at three different weight classes. If you want to see Liddell fight, then check out UFC Fight Pass.