A fourth meeting between UFC hall of famers Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture is reportedly in the works for UFC 116 on July 3 in Las Vegas, Heavy’s Jeremy Botter today reported.
Liddell remains officially scheduled to fight opposing coach Tito Ortiz at the conclusion of The Ultimate Fighter 11, and said during a Monday conference call to promote the show that he believed the matchup was still on, but numerous rumors and reports have surfaced in recent weeks that put the fight in doubt.
Initial rumors suggested that Ortiz was unable to finish taping for the series, which debuts tomorrow after UFC Fight Night 21, and replaced by Rich Franklin, who whold then fight Liddell in June at UFC 115 that was recently re-scheduled for Cincinnati, Franklin’s hometown.
UFC President Dana White immediately denied the rumors and said the UFC was planning Franklin vs. Couture, but later suggested that fans would have to watch the show to find out what happens.
According to Botter, the UFC is set to deny the reports until TUF 11 concludes in June.
Liddell holds a 2-1 edge over Couture in their career series, suffering a third-round TKO in their first bout in June 2003 before scoring a first-round knockout in April 2005 and second-round KO in February 2006.
More-recently, Liddell (21-7) has dropped four of his last five, including a first-round TKO to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua last April in his most-recent bout that forced him into a brief retirement, while Couture has won two-straight over Brandon Vera in November and Mark Coleman in February.
UFC 116 is scheduled to be headlined by the return of heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar vs. interim title-holder Shane Carwin and is also expected to feature Wanderlei Silva vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama.
Pictured: Chuck Liddell