There’s been rumors swirling lately that something happened to Tito Ortiz that resulted in Rich Franklin taking over the position of TUF coach and opponent for Chuck Liddell. A lot of major MMA news sources are being surprisingly mum about exactly what’s happening with this situation, possibly because they remember Sherdog.com getting banned from UFC events for revealing TUF secrets a few years ago. Sherdog, freshly re-banned last week, is more forthcoming with the facts:
However, Sherdog.com reported on March 13 that Liddell and former middleweight champion Rich Franklin have verbally agreed to face one another instead, according to multiple sources close to the bout. UFC President Dana White later denied the reports, but Sherdog.com re-affirmed through its sources that the bout is still on track. Fighters appearing on the reality show all sign rigorous non-disclosure agreements to keep the series’ plotline a secret before airing.
“I’ve heard the rumors, of course, but from what I understand, (Ortiz’) signed to fight and he’s still coming at me,” Liddell said on Monday.
Unfortunately for Liddell, he already used up his credibility in situations like this by telling people that nude workout video was totally legit and not a viral ad for Reebok shoes.
Adding to the speculation is the UFC moving ‘Liddell-Ortiz 3’ from Vancouver (who were asking for 12 million bucks worth of insurance) to Cincinatti, aka Rich Franklin’s hometown. Long story short, all signs point towards Chuck vs Rich. Well, not aaaall signs. There’s a number of other sketchy signs implying no coaching fight at all, or Chuck vs Randy Couture. And then there’s the school of thought that Chuck vs Tito is solid and this is just the UFC planting false news to drive the internet crazy.
MMA news is fun, isn’t it?