September 22, 2006

Breaking news on MMAWeekly.com… During a meet-and-greet autograph session prior to the UFC 63 weigh-ins on Friday afternoon in Anaheim, California, Tito Ortiz made an appearance in front of everyone in attendance and had an announcement to make.

Ortiz said that he had just been approached by someone from the UFC and had been told, “We know you have a fight coming up in a couple of weeks [against Ken Shamrock on October 10th], but I wanted to give you this now.” Ortiz said that he was given a contract to fight Chuck Liddell on December 30th at UFC 66.

At that point, Ortiz flashed the contract to the crowd, with his signature already on it. The rematch between Liddell and Ortiz is now officially signed for December 30th, apparently regardless of the outcome of Ortiz’ upcoming fight against Ken Shamrock on Spike TV on October 10th.

Though the December 30th date for Liddell-Ortiz II has been posted in MMAWeekly’s Rumors section for several weeks, it is now official. Barring any major unforeseen injuries to Liddell or Ortiz between now and the end of December, the two fighters will compete for the UFC Light Heavyweight Title on December 30th.

This news also puts to rest any remaining rumors that Chuck Liddell might be fighting Wanderlei Silva, Mirko Cro Cop, or anyone else from Pride at UFC 65 in November.

Though it was announced during the UFC 61 pay-per-view on July 8th that Liddell would be fighting Silva in the UFC in November, there were no contracts signed between the UFC and Pride at that time. Negotiations between the two sides broke down shortly thereafter, and any potential Liddell-Silva match was off even before Liddell fought Renato “Babalu” Sobral on August 26th.