It’s official. Chuck Liddell will be making his return to MMA competition for the first time in over eight years and at 48 years of age when he takes on 43-year-old Tito Ortiz on November 24th from The Forum in Inglewood, Calafornia, Oscar De La Hoya announced today. The California State Athletic Commission gave both fighters the green light to compete, and De La Hoya was exited to break the news to ESPN:
“I’m excited for our first Golden Boy MMA event,” De La Hoya told ESPN. “It reminds me of the first-ever fight I did in boxing [in 2002]. I’m going to see how this one goes, but just the way I did in boxing, I plan on becoming a regular promoter of MMA. There’s no reason I should only promote one sport.
“I strongly feel MMA fighters are going to be pleased with the fact I’m entering the sport. Hopefully, we will sign some great fighters and go from there.”
Oscar De La Hoya claims this fight is only the beginning, and that he looks to change the landscape of MMA promotion by doing right by the fighters:
“I’m becoming a promoter in MMA for the same reason I became a promoter in boxing,” De La Hoya said. “I’m sick and tired of these fighters coming up to me and saying they get paid crap.
“I can’t get into the specifics of these deals, but I’ll tell you that [Liddell and Ortiz] will be making a hell of a lot more money than they have with anybody else. They’ll participate in revenue from PPV, gate and everything else that comes in. This will be the most lucrative fight of their careers.”
The first time these two legends fought was at UFC 47 in 2004, where Liddell scored the second-round knockout of Ortiz. In the rematch, it was a similar result, with Liddell earning the third-round TKO over Ortiz. Now, Tito Ortiz will seek redemption by winning the trilogy as Liddell approaches his 50th year on the planet. Although both fighters are now middle aged, it is hard to deny that their name values are still a commodity that De La Hoya hopes that himself and MMA fans will benefit from when they collide, expectedly, for the final time:
“Obviously, both guys are warriors and pioneers,” De La Hoya said. “It’s like Mayweather vs. [Manny Pacquiao, in 2015]. People were asking for that fight for the longest time. It finally happened and it broke records.
“I think this fight will be very lucrative for both guys. This is an opportunity for them to show the world they still have what it takes to fight in the Octagon. I strongly feel it’s never too late with two guys like this. Two names of this caliber, you can’t go wrong.”
Are you excited to see the trilogy fight between Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz?