Mixed Martial Arts

Liddell to take on Ortiz after coaching on Season 11 of TUF

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The Canadian Press
12/6/2009 12:37:37 AM
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LAS VEGAS - Chuck (The Iceman) Liddell is returning to the cage to fight Tito (The Huntington Beach Bad Boy) Ortiz a third time.

The two former light-heavyweight champions will face off after serving as rival coaches on Season 11 of "The Ultimate Fighter" reality TV show, UFC president Dana White announced Saturday night.

Liddell has lost his last two fights -- and four of his last five -- and talked of retirement after being knocked out by Mauricio (Shogun) Rua at UFC 97 in April in Montreal.

His most recent action was on "Dancing With the Stars."

White, a friend and former manager of Liddell's, had hoped the Iceman would retire. But he finally relented.

"At the end of the day, I'm not his Dad ... to tell him he can't have one more shot, it's tough to do," said White.

"To be honest with you, I think the fans want to see Chuck-Tito 3 anyway, so what the hell," he added.

Liddell (21-7) beat Ortiz (16-7-1) at UFC 47 and UFC 66.

Liddell was at his 40th birthday party, tweeting photos when the news broke late Saturday.

"I am excited for the opportunity to coach on 'The Ultimate Fighter,' especially since I get a chance to beat Tito again," Liddell said in a statement. "This is a perfect chance for me to help young fighters grow and it's a chance for me to get another win against Tito."

Ortiz, 34, just returned to the UFC, losing a split decision to Forest Griffin last month at UFC 106.

Season 11 is scheduled to premiere March 31, 2010, meaning the Liddell-Ortiz bout will probably take place in the summer of 2010.

Both Liddell and Ortiz have history with the show. Liddell was coach on Season 1 and Ortiz on Season 3.

Ortiz also appeared last year on "Celebrity Apprentice."

"This season of the show is important to me in so many ways," Ortiz said in a statement. "I love coaching and I'm happy that I can give my fighters a chance to become better athletes. Plus, I think I'm a better coach than Chuck.

"I think my guys are going to be hungry and ready to smash Chuck's guys. I can't wait to see his face when that happens."

Season 11 of the reality TV show will feature middleweights.

Chuck Liddell (Photo: Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
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