Chuck Liddell. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The rumblings of the UFC counter programming Strikeforce got much stronger today when it was reported that Chuck Liddell would be facing former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin at UFC Fight Night on April 17 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Liddell was originally reported to be facing Tito Ortiz at UFC 115 but according to Fighters Only, Ortiz is dealing with something that may significantly impact his future as a fighter and it’s not an injury.
Update: 2:38 PM: Sherdog.com and MMAJunkie.com are now reporting that the bout between Liddell and Franklin will now take place at UFC 115 in June, not the rumored show for April 17 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Update: 8:00 PM: UFC president Dana White has now posted a response on his Twitter saying, “Not true! We are doing Couture vs. Franklin, not Chuck.” Stay tuned for more.
The UFC has yet to file an application with the Tennessee State Athletic Commission but they have until Thursday to do so.
Liddell, a native of San Luis Obispo, California, possesses a mixed martial arts record of 21-7. Liddell has dropped four of his last five bouts with his last fight coming nearly a year ago at UFC 97: Redemption when he was stopped by Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
Liddell holds victories over the likes of Wanderlei Silva, Tito Ortiz, Alistair Overeem, Randy Couture, and Renato “Babalu” Sobral. Over the past year, Liddell has placed his focuses elsewhere including a stint on “Dancing with the Stars” and The Ultimate Fighter 11.
Franklin, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, possesses a mixed martial arts record of 25-5. Franklin holds victories over the likes of Wanderlei Silva, Evan Tanner, David Loiseau, and Matt Hamill. Franklin was last in action at UFC 103 when he was stopped by Vitor Belfort.