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Tito Ortiz is not worth coming back for - Chuck Liddell

ESPN staff
April 26, 2012
Chuck Liddell retired after losing to Rich Franklin © UFC

Former UFC light-heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell insists there would be absolutely nothing for him to gain by coming out of retirement for a potential final fight with old rival Tito Ortiz.

Liddell, in his prime, was arguably the most devastating 205-pounder ever seen in the UFC. However, it is Ortiz who holds the edge statistically, making five successful title defences to Liddell's four.

The pair fought twice in battles fuelled by bad blood, and on both occasions Liddell emerged victorious. A trilogy-completer was always expected, but the Iceman retired in June 2010 after a loss to Rich Franklin.

Now Ortiz plans to quit the UFC, after a summer fight with Forrest Griffin, but he did say "never say never" to having one more fight. A Liddell v Ortiz battle would be box-office, but Liddell has no interest.

"I don't see any point in fighting him, the only way I could see a point in fighting him is if, back when he fought Rashad [Evans], he had fought his way into title contention," Liddell told ESPN.

"If it had been for a title, or something big like that, THAT would have motivated me - just for him. But no, I'm not interested in fighting him."

The current 205lb champion, Jon Jones, represents the new generation of athlete in the UFC. Liddell now works for the company in an ambassadorial role, but he admits a title collision with Jones could tempt him out of retirement.

"The only thing that would even make me think about it is if they gave me a shot at the title," Liddell told UFC Tonight. "So, we'll see. For now? Yeah. Jon Jones [is the only one].

"I don't want to come back as a sideshow. It's just one of those things. It's not something I want to do.

"It was a hard decision to make, to retire, but it wasn't like I couldn't compete with guys. I can't quite take a punch like I used to and I didn't want to change my style.

"I could start wrestling and try to control guys, but then I've still got the chance of getting hit hard. It just wasn't the way I wanted to fight. I fought so many years, and I wanted to go out fighting the way I like to fight: exciting and fun."

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