Chuck Liddell To Coach TUF 11 Opposite Tito OrtizIn an announcement that was met with a smattering of boos and otherwise complete indifference from the live TUF 10 Finale crowd tonight, UFC President Dana White revealed that former UFC Light Heavyweight Champions Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell and “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz will serve as coaches for TUF 11 next year.

White, who himself did not seem at all enthusiastic about the idea, appeared uncomfortable and had to be reminded of the weight class (middleweight) that the TUF 11 contestants would be competing at.

Claiming that a third meeting between Liddell and Ortiz was “what the fans wanted,” White appeared to try to justify the decision to put the struggling former stars against each other as coaches after the Las Vegas crowd did not respond favourably to the announcement.

A wave of negative sentiment flooded forums online as fans chimed in on the proposed Liddell vs Ortiz 3 bout, which appears to make little sense after Liddell handily dispatched of Ortiz in the pair’s first two meetings.

The backlash comes in stark contrast to White’s uneasy assertions that fans wanted the fight to happen.

White also stated that Liddell had been pestering him relentlessly about a return and a bout with Ortiz may be the only fight left that makes any sense for the aging former champion.


Following his first-round stoppage loss to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 97 in April, fans, including many of Liddell’s biggest supporters, hoped that the legend would not tarnish his legacy by further competing.

Having lost four of his last five fights, with three of those losses coming by knockout, Liddell’s best days are behind him and he appeared to have possibly moved on to other things after a recent stint on ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars.”

Similarly, Ortiz has also struggled in recent years, as injuries hindered his performance and he departed the UFC after a lopsided decision loss to current champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida at UFC 84.

Following an 18-month layoff, Ortiz returned to the promotion at UFC 106 and lost a Split Decision to old rival and fellow ex-champion Forrest Griffin. Ortiz is 0-3-1 in his last four fights.


While the one notable positive from having Liddell and Ortiz serve as coaches is that the season will not tie up current divisional stars or champions for lengthy periods of time during filming, a third bout between the two is all but a waste of time.

Ortiz never had Liddell in any danger during their UFC 47 and UFC 66 battles, though he at least fared better in the second meeting and survived until late in the third round.

A victory for Ortiz further and needlessly diminishes the career of Liddell for no real reason, as Ortiz does not appear to be able to climb back into contender status ever again.

A victory for Liddell would likely end both men’s careers, as Liddell could go out on a high note after vanquishing Ortiz for a third time, while Ortiz would have few options left in the promotion and has already seen his drawing rate drop significantly.


The promotion has, to its credit, righted past wrongs when fans responded negatively to fight announcements, but it is unlikely that this one will be changed.

Whether The Ultimate Fighter reality show continues beyond the proposed eleventh season remains to be seen. Filming will begin in early 2010 and episodes will air beginning on March 31st.

  1. […] overwhelming demand from UFC fans, White announced that former UFC Light Heavyweight Champions Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell and “The […]

  2. This is a huge disappointment. With both their fighting styles that can now be seen as throwbacks compared to the fighting styles of today’s top fighters, what can they possibly teach a batch of up-and-coming fighters that will be effective in today’s fight game?
    On top of that, they will fight a third time. Who asked for this? Instead of reverting back to these two relics of the MMA world in an effort to get ratings and sell tickets, the UFC should instead utilize more the current top talent that they have.
    Maybe for the TUF 12 season, they could have Dan Severn and Ken Shamrock as coaches, and afterwards have a Severn/Shamrock 3 fight. Thats no more ridiculous as this Liddell/Ortiz crap.

  3. […] overwhelming demand from UFC fans, White announced that former UFC Light Heavyweight Champions Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell and “The Huntington […]