Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell has been teasing a potential return to action for quite some time now.
Chael Sonnen has been calling Liddell out for a little while now and he says he’s ready to fight the former light heavyweight champion right now, but Liddell keeps turning the fight down.
“I got called out on TMZ - I don’t know if it’s a call out but I’m using that term - by Chuck Liddell. He said, ‘Chael Sonnen would be a perfect warm up fight’ for his comeback. TMZ got ahold of me to respond. I never miss big media opportunities and TMZ is huge but this one I just sat it out. First time ever I’ve told TMZ I’m gonna pass on the interview because I didn’t know what to say and I still don’t, other than the truth: I will fight you right now Chuck. This was my idea. I’m the one that suggested you come in on my legends ass-whipping tour and be my crowning moment. That’s the truth. Chuck does not have a contract with any organization. Bellator would sign him and would make that fight and did sit down with him and told him that but he didn’t sign. Instead he went back to TMZ and pretended he wanted the fight. No problem if he’s using that as a negotiation tool. That is part of how the game is played and if enough people wanted to see it, it would be an effective tool. That’s kind of your measuring stick. When he can get publicity like TMZ, that’s a good sign for him but the bottom line is, he doesn’t have a contract. They offered him the fight and in fact, they offered it to him twice, in person. . . He didn’t take it,” Sonnen said on his podcast, You’re Welcome.
Liddell hasn’t competed since being knocked out by former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin at UFC 115 and Sonnen hasn’t competed since defeating Wanderlei Silva at Bellator 180.
Whether they eventually clash or not, the Bellator MMA veteran says he believes Liddell is still planning on making a comeback.
“At the same time that [Chuck] didn’t say yes, he’s still in the gym training so I still believe there’s gonna be this Chuck comeback, I just don’t know where it’s gonna be. If it’s gonna be against me, it has to be in Bellator. The likely suspects for me: throw Fedor in there, throw Chuck in there, that’s the one I thought it was gonna be. I would like to fight Chuck, but the air has been taken out of my ball on that. I don’t believe that is going to happen. Then you’ve got Tito in there. Let’s just see what happens. It would be a lot shorter of a list if I told you who I didn’t want to fight,” says Sonnen.
If Liddell does make a comeback and he fights outside of the UFC auspices, then it is the first time he has competed outside of the promotion in almost 14 years.