Chuck Liddell (left) is interviewed by Joe Rogan following his loss to Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in May 2007. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Former longtime UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell will reportedly finally take on Rashad Evans, the heavyweight winner of the second season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, when the Ultimate Fighting Championship travels to Atlanta for the first time in September.
The news comes from Ryan Hockensmith of ESPN the Magazine, who also reports that while bout agreements have yet to be signed, both fighters have verbally agreed to fight.
The two were originally set to meet at the UFC’s cursed “Bedlam” event in London, England earlier this month after Liddell’s first opponent, former PRIDE standout Mauricio “Shogun” Rua was forced to withdraw from the event after rupturing an ACL in his left knee, an injury that ultimately required surgery and has sidelined Rua indefinitely.
Evans was moved from his bout against Thiago Silva last month only to have Liddell bow out courtesy of a torn right hamstring. James Irvin stepped in as a late replacement opponent but fell to the injury bug as well in the form of a broken foot. Evans was then removed from the card completely.
Liddell snapped a two-fight losing streak at UFC 79 in December where he won a unanimous decision over long-time rival Wanderlei Silva. A win over Evans will have Liddell move one step closer to a rematch against current champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, who has defeated Liddell twice in the past.
Evans, a one-time standout college wrestler at Michigan State University, has not lost yet inside the confines of his UFC. Evans has been victorious in all of his bouts with the exception of a draw against Tito Ortiz last summer. He most recently won a decision over previously undefeated Michael Bisping last November.
Next entry: Nickels, Caudillo Headline Ring of Fire Friday
Previous entry: Belfort Must Pay Fine to Fight at Affliction