Sherdog are now stating on their website that it will indeed be Rich Franklin to face Chuck Liddell at UFC 115 this June. Dana White is still adamant that Tito is fighting Chuck, but after checking the UFC website, the Liddell vs. Ortiz fight has been taken off the lineup. It remains to be seen whats going to happen. Ortiz was scheduled to face Chuck Liddell for the third time this coming June. Ortiz though, was struck down with a serious case of man flu halfway through the filming of this season’s ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ (bless him, he thought he had swine flu) and was replaced by Rich Franklin. Fighter’s only magazine were first to report that Franklin would be taking Ortiz’ place at UFC 115. Dana White and Tito were quick to squash these rumours, saying he would still be fighting, but with Sherdog changing their UFC 115 lineup, and the Liddell vs. Ortiz fight taken off the UFC’s website, it may appear that Ortiz is struggling to return to full health. Fan’s have been divided on whether they want to see a third encounter between the two UFC legends, with Chuck winning both the previous fights. I myself was looking forward to seeing Chuck back in the Octagon, but a third win over Ortiz wouldn’t really prove to anyone whether he still has what it takes to make another run for the title. But then again would a win over a former Middleweight Champion who’s coming off a loss to Vitor Belfort, whom Chuck beat back at UFC 37.5 prove any more credible for ‘The Iceman’. If Chuck is serious about working towards a Title Shot, then maybe the fight that really makes sense is to pull Thiago Silva from his UFC 116 fight against Ryan Bader, and move him up to fight Liddell at UFC 115. Chuck wants to be Lightheavyweight Champion within 3 fights, and a win over Silva, who’s coming off a decision loss to Rashad Evans would put him straight in the mix.
Update: Heavy.com are now reporting that the UFC are considering Liddell vs. Couture 4. Liddell is 2-1 against Randy Couture, and a fourth fight makes little sense. If Couture was to win, then surely it would be 2-2 between them, meaning the UFC would have no choice but to drag out a 5th encounter between the two ageing fighters. While both fighters are two of the UFC’s biggest draws and would probably do decent numbers, lets hope this isn’t the fight UFC decide on.
Update 7/4/10: Dana White has just confirmed today to mmafighting.com that the Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz fight scheduled for UFC 115 taking place at the GM Arena in Vancouver. ‘The definite main event is Tito vs. Chuck Liddell. That’s definitely the main event.’ UFC, as of now, have yet to update the UFC 115 lineup on their website.
Update 12/4/10: Just minutes after annoucing that UFC 115 had sold out in record time in just 30 mins, the UFC also announces that Tito Ortiz is indeed out of his scheduled third encounter with ‘The Iceman’ Chuck Liddell. Rich Franklin will step in for his first Octagon appearance since his first round knockout loss to Vitor Belfort last September at UFC 103.