Tito Ortiz is hopeful a rumored Chuck Liddell trilogy bout will be finalized sooner than later.
Dating back to a face-off photo last summer, Liddell vs. Ortiz 3 has been discussed. It never appeared to come close to a done deal until recently, when boxing promoter Oscar De La Hoya expressed interest in promoting the fight under a brand new Golden Boy MMA banner.
According to Ortiz, a UFC light heavyweight champion, he has signed his end of the deal and has been training for the past little while. Now, Ortiz is just waiting for his rival to sign the dotted line himself.
“I started working out for almost a month and a half. My body feels great, I’ve bounced back faster than I expected, which is great,” Ortiz told Submission Radio. “I’m just waiting on Chuck Liddell’s side to kind of sign the contract, get this done. So, it’s just a matter of time.
“I think Chuck’s kind of holding out, trying to make more money out of it, which it just doesn’t make sense because this deal is pretty much a cut and dry contract. We’re both partners. De La Hoya wants his 40 percent and me and Chuck Liddell get to split 30 percent. So that’s on complete revenue of the whole fight in general.”
An aforementioned revenue split is something Ortiz has wanted in MMA for a long time, he said. He added that he was satisfied with everything De La Hoya told him during a meeting.
“It’s just a blessing in disguise,” Ortiz said. “We’re able to make a big percentage of the revenue with pay-per-view, the gate, merchandising, sponsorship — something that no MMA event has ever done before, and we’re gonna make it happen.”
Ortiz last competed in January 2017, when he submitted Chael Sonnen in the first round. Meanwhile, Liddell hasn’t fought in eight years.
As far as pay-per-view numbers go for a potential Liddell vs. Ortiz trilogy, Ortiz seems rather optimistic.
“I talked to some of the guys like Sean Shelby, some of the other promoters, and they said, ‘You guys have a possibility of doing some really great numbers because people don’t know what to expect,’” Ortiz said. ... “So what’s the magic number? Is it over 500,000? Will we meet that million number that we did last time me and Chuck fought?
“If we fall right in the middle of that, I would be happy. Chuck of course would be happy and of course De La Hoya would be like, ‘We have started a new game,’ and other fighters will be like, ‘How do I get a part of that? How do I get a piece of that? How do I get into that promotion?’ And talking to me would be the first step.”
Ortiz hopes to face Liddell in the fourth quarter of 2018.