Saturday, March 13, 2010
Chuck Liddell vs. Rich Franklin Now Likely as UFC 115 Main Event In Vancouver
It was originally reported earlier today, by Fighters Only Magazine, that Chuck Liddell (21-7) would not be facing Tito Ortiz (15-7-1) at the conclusion of The Ultimate Fighter 11. The two were previously strongly rumoured to be facing off for their third time at UFC 115 in Vancouver, B.C.
The reasons behind Tito's withdrawal from the fight are not entirely clear at this time, but, according to F.O.M.'s sources, it is not his long-injured back, but "something that may significantly impact [Tito's] future as a fighter." It is also unclear how this news has affected the taping of the SpikeTV reality show, which recently wrapped production.
When the news of Tito's inability to fight first broke, it was initially believed that Liddell would now appear in the headlining slot of the as-yet-unofficial UFC show on April 17th, which was deliberately created to counter Strikeforce's second CBS show on the same day. His rumoured opponent is current light-heavyweight contender, former middleweight champions and potential fellow UFC hall-of-famer, Rich "Ace" Franklin (25-5). However, it has since been reported by MMAJunkie.com that if Liddell vs. Franklin does happen it will not be in April, but at UFC 115 in Vancouver, where Chuck was originally likely to appear. Further, Sherdog.com has now reported that both fighters have verbally agreed to the bout.
In the minds of many B.C. MMA Fans, the switch from Tito to Rich as Chuck Liddell's opponent on June 12th in GM Place will come as a welcome change. If for no other reason than because Chuck has already defeated Tito on two separate occasions in the past, both times by (T)KO.
The Current Rumoured Card For UFC 115 Is As Follows:
Chuck Liddell vs. Rich Franklin
Wanderlei Silva vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama
Paulo Thiago vs. Martin Kampmann
Carlos Condit vs. Rory MacDonald [CAN]
Tyson Griffin vs. Evan Dunham
Pat Barry vs. Mirko Filipovic
Gilbert Yvel vs. Ben Rothwell
Mac Danzig vs Matt Wiman
James Wilks vs. Peter Sobotta
Mike Pyle vs. Jesse Lennox
Claude Patrick [CAN] vs. TBA