Earlier this week, boxing powerhouse Golden Boy Promotions announced its first foray into the world of mixed martial arts.
At the top of its first pay-per-view offering will be a trilogy bout between longtime rivals Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz. The booking was widely criticized throughout the MMA community and for good reason: Liddell is 48 and hasn’t fought since 2010, when a string of three consecutive KO/TKO defeats forced him out of the UFC. The 43-year-old Ortiz has competed more frequently in recent years under the Bellator MMA banner but is also well past peak form.
Count Joe Rogan among those who questions the need for a third bout between the two men nearly 12 years after their last meeting.
“If they want to compete, if it’s because they want to compete. I wonder where it makes sense to tell them they can’t or they shouldn’t?” Rogan said on his JRE MMA Show podcast. “Because if they want to do it and they had money — what is it about it? Is it the motivation that bothers me? What is it about a fight like that? I think it’s the motivation that bothers me, a little bit.”
Liddell vs. Ortiz III will take place at 205 pounds inside a cage and air on pay-per-view. The fighters will reportedly receive a percentage of the PPV and the gate, although the location and venue for the matchup have yet to be announced.
“[Chuck] has been saying that he misses it,” Rogan said. “It was his favorite thing and he misses it. If we were gonna live forever, I’d say definitely don’t do it because you’re just gonna keep damaging yourself. But if you’re not gonna live forever . . .”