Michael Bisping shared some insight into why Chuck Liddell has been teasing a return to fighting in recent weeks. During a recent episode of his “Believe You Me” podcast, Bisping said that Liddell’s sudden desire to make an MMA comeback may have been spawned by his firing from his UFC “office” job as part of cutbacks last year.
“Somebody at the weekend [retreat] told me that Chuck Liddell is really pissed off because he had a pretty sweet deal with the UFC when he left [fighting],” Bisping said. “He was an ambassador for the UFC. I believe he was on $1 million a year, that’s the number I heard.”
Bisping did concede that this was third-party information, but was confident in his source. “I’m in the circle where people tell me things,” he said.
Bisping also noted that Liddell may utilize a comeback as a way get revenge on UFC for letting him go once WME-IMG took ownership last year. “It was great that the UFC was doing that, but now, of course, new UFC owners came in,” Bisping said. “I heard that Chuck was really pissed off, so that’s why he’s possibly going over to Bellator.”
Liddell has met with Bellator President Scott Coker recently and teased a third fight with former rival Tito Ortiz, but neither side has commented publicly on whether serious talks of Liddell fighting in Bellator have taken place.
If Liddell were to fight again, Bellator may be the best fit for him with several of his contemporaries such as Ortiz, Chael Sonnen, “Rampage” Jackson, and Wanderlei Silva making the jump in recent years. But at 47 years old, “The Iceman” will need to make up his mind sooner than later. (SOURCE)
Hiscoe’s Analysis: I don’t have a lot of interest in seeing Liddell fight again, even if it’s part of Bellator’s de facto Legends circuit. Liddell fell from grace harder than others, so even with the benefit of several years off, it doesn’t seem wise for him to fight again as his potential opponents still hold the power to knock him out and cause damage to what is already a likely fragile brain. If Liddell was truly making $1 million a year since his retirement, he should be in a position to not need to fight in order to pay the bills.
MONDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…
-Derrick Lewis responded to criticisms received from Travis Browne and Francis Ngannou following his loss to Mark Hunt on Saturday. Lewis tweeted: “Travis Browne waking up from the dead saying he wants a rematch and Francis learning how to use Google Translator talking shit.”
-Evan Dunham called out Al Iaquinta over the weekend with a series of tweets. One tweet pointed out that most of the top 15 lightweights are occupied with other fights already booked or injuries. “Everyone is tired of hearing you bitch about [money],” Dunham tweeted. “It’s time to fight and I am the only fight you got.”
-Ion Cutelaba had (slightly) higher expectations of his opponent Henrique da Silva on Saturday. “I know how strong of a fighter I am, but I expected my opponent to stay (in the fight) a little longer – at least a half-minute or minute,” he told MMAFighting.
-Michael “Venom” Page sent a video message with Ariel Helwani at MMA Fighting saying that he was offered a fight with Paul Daley at a Bellator event set for September but that now Daley is refusing to fight him. “So check this,” Page said. “Bellator contacts me with some news. Amazing. We are gonna main event you and Paul Daley back in London in September. Jeez! That is just what I wanted to hear. After Paul Daley loses horribly to Rory MacDonald, he decides to call me out. He gets outside of the cage and conducts himself unprofessionally, running at me and causing a bit of a scuffle outside of the cage. No problem. Now it’s gonna happen. Main event, In London. September. But check this! Paul Daley, for the third time this year, has said he’s not going to fight me. I know, I know, I know. You’re thinking the same thing: that doesn’t make sense! He called me out! But yes. Paul Daley, you’re a disappointment to every UK fighter. You’re a disappointment to every fan in MMA that wanted to see this fight and there’s a lot of people that wanted to see this fight. You’re a straight disappointment. You are forever going to be known as Paula ‘Tampax’ Daley. That is your legacy. And like I said, this is the third time now, so you’re out. Don’t ever ask me to fight again.”