In an interview with Ariel Helwani yesterday, Chuck Liddell announced his return to MMA. Recently Liddell’s legendary name has been linked to Oscar De La Hoya’s proposed venture into MMA.
De La Hoya, a boxing great, is now an influential boxing promoter under the self referential banner: Golden Boy Promotions. His plan to bring in Liddell was a big surprise to many given that Chuck is a long retired veteran.
Even more surprising still are Liddell’s comments on The MMA Hour. ‘The Iceman’ plans to take two warm up fights initially, the first of which being Tito Ortiz. After shaking off what must be some quite considerable ring rust, Liddell plans to face Jon Jones.
Putting the total mismatch nature of that fight aside, there is another reason it cannot happen right now: Jones is signed to the UFC and currently on suspension. Dana White has stated that he is totally against the idea of Liddell returning to the octagon at his age so he certainly wouldn’t promote that fight.
Jon Jones responded to the call out on Twitter saying ‘come and get it’. He really is embracing the bad guy image. Whether it be at Golden Boy MMA or elsewhere, Liddell has said he will fight again.
Personally, I was hoping Chuck would not come back. He is a legend in the sport but his time has passed, I don’t want to see him get hurt in there or end up with severe CTE symptoms. If anything, I wouldn’t mind him facing another crafty old campaigner.
If he had to come back, a third bout with old foe Tito Ortiz isn’t such a bad idea. Jon Jones though? I wouldn’t be able to watch that and I don’t think any commission would sanction it.
There are tons of new stars rising up the rankings in MMA right now. I am always saying talking about the brave new world, however, with familiar faces from days gone reappearing, has anything really changed?