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Chuck Liddell: To retire, or not to retire, that is the question

Ever since Chuck Liddell has hit some rough times in his past few fights, talk has been that it’s time for the former UFC light heavyweight champion to retire. Is that really the way to go? I beg to differ, I think “The Iceman” still has what it takes to compete at a high level of MMA.

Yes, it’s true, he has been on a rollercoaster downhill it seems, in fact he has won just one of his past five fights, a unanimous decision victory over Wanderlei Silva at UFC 79.

This patch of losses began when he was dethroned of his title to Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 71, Keith Jardine defeated him in a split decision at UFC 76, then “Sugar” Rashad Evans gave him his most devastating loss at UFC 88, and most recently he was finished in the first round when he faced Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 97.

Liddell was on a seven fight win streak since losing to Jackson at Pride: Final Conflict 2003, in these times many considered him the best in his division, and he really helped to bring MMA mainstream to the western audience. He in this time defeated such fighter’s as Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture, and Renato Sobral each of whom he beat two times.

Since Chuck has hit bad times it’s been nothing but people ridiculing him to retire. I say let him do it on his own will and when he believes the time has come, and not once in all this talk do people take the time to look at who beat him.

The fighters he has garnered losses to are all considered top people in the division, Evans went on to win the title after their bout, Rampage is number one contender contender for the title, and awaiting the winner of Evans and Lyoto Machida.

Keith Jardine is in my mind a top competitor and is able to compete with anyone in the division, and Shogun just became relevant in most fan’s minds after finally showing the audience why such high praise was made of him prior to his fight with Forest Griffin.

What I am basically coming to is it seems that he is being treated like a stepping stone, and being given such high caliber fights when he is coming off losses.

If you would like to see what one of his former rivals has to say regarding his retirement, on our home page you can watch the “Fun with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson”, where Sam Caplan has a very entertaining interview with the former UFC champ.

He in short states first that “I’m not Chucks manager”, but after some convincing he gives in and shares his thoughts with Caplan. He states “Chuck is loved in the MMA community”, he is a good fighter and that he thinks he can still do it, but “he should take the right fights at the right time, Chuck is a gamer, you know he can get knocked out and come back and fight another tough opponent“ and like any fighter he understands that you need to work your way back up.

Only time will truly tell what he is going to do. If he continues to fight I think he does need to take some time off as it has shown with many fighters that it can do wonders, just look at Couture who retired only to come back and win the title in a division he had not competed in for nearly five years.

I also don’t think he will go brain dead if he has a couple more fights, for all we know maybe he just needs a couple wins to light the fire he once had burning through the light heavyweight division.

  • Davey D says:

    While I do not think Chuck Liddell should retire, I do believe his days as a top 5 LHW are over. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…Chuck should move on to the HW divison. There are plenty of fight’s waiting for him there and three dominant victories could put him in Title contention.

    On the other hand, Chuck is nearing 40 so becoming a HW Champion might be a stretch but Randy did it so WHO says Chuck can’t. Either way, I think there are plenty of fight’s above 205 lbs that will keep Chuck busy for another 3 year’s or so. Heck, maybe he doesn’t even want to chase the HW title and just wants to compete? He is a Fighter and that is what he does best.

    Mr. White…please let Chuck decide when his time is up and encourage him to pursue the heavier weight bout’s. Trust me, it will work. Just not against the (top) 205er’s. Those days are sadly over.


  • Jstew3785 says:

    I don’t know if he should reitre, but I don’t agree with moving up to heavyweight. If he is getting knocked out by the 205er’s, why would he get in there with people up to 60lbs heavier? I mean, look at someone like Shane Carwin. He knocked out Gonzaga with basically a jab. He cuts weight to make the 265lb limit. I’m sure he hits a hell of a lot harder than Shogun.

  • Stan says:

    The thing that makes me agree with Dana White on this one is that Chuck’s style is simply not amenable to slowed reflexes and weakening chin age has brought on him. If he were a top level wrestler he could manage to remain competitive for a while longer. Really, his reputation was built on quick, strong hands and a solid chin. He had great takedown defense to keep fights standing, but his style was always to absorb punishment long enough to land one of his looping haymakers.

    If you look at the Evans-Liddell fight, or for a more drawn out example Bisping-Leben, you see an orthodox striker being able to consistently beat out haymakers with straight punches. The difference between Liddell now and Liddell 5 years ago is that those straight punches will knock him unconscious before his haymakers land… even from a mid-level striker like Evans or what really didn’t look like a KO-caliber punch from Rua.

    But if the guy can make money fighting, he should have the right to do it while that window is closing. Clearly there are a lot of fighters at 205 he would be able to beat. But then, the UFC doesn’t need to pay someone what Chuck makes to fight down on the 3rd or 4th fight on the card… And they don’t want to see Chuck on Strikeforce fighting Sobral or Ortiz again in old timers matches. If Chuck doesn’t retire, the UFC is in a lose-lose situation.

  • GetItOn says:

    I have already said this a million times but Chuck will retire and come back just as Couture did. The element of surprise sells PPV’s.

  • BillyWarhol says:

    I think it’s prolly just a Big Buildup to a Tito Ortiz vs Chuck Lidell Matchup in StrikeForce then they can do it again in the UFC!! ;))

  • wardog says:

    Chuck will retire when he wants to. I mean the guy can go to a number of promotions and make $ and compete. I say give him some time. Personally, I would like to see him take a year off train and relax, then decide. Call it a hiatus or sabatical. Let him promote, put him on TUF as a coach, and spend some time with his family. And then if he wants to come back he will do it with a clear head. But Dana should not push him out.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Dana said he wants Chuck to retire because he can’t compete with the young guys. Randy = 46 years old 6 wins 6 losses over the last 8 years! Chuck =40 years old and about 13 wins 6 losses over the last 8 years. Leave it up to Chuck please.

  • thehullbull says:

    Chuck Liddell is the ufc He and just He , not the ferretas or Dana White made the ufc wat it now is today. Yeah they had the money and hindsight to put it on but cometh the man cometh the ice age.They still needed a how do you say ??? an attraction??? No an Ambassador to be???Me being from the uk were the sport has now taken off and is watched by thousands of sell out crowds. Such as ufc 80 rapid fire Penn v’s Stevenson Newcastle, ufc 85 02 areana London were i met Chuck, and ufc 89 Birmingham Bispin v’s Leben. Is in many peoples eyes around the world, down to the man. The man that when seen this monster with a mohawk knocking people out and down with a over hand right, any fighter in the right stable mind would want in ther arsenal. What im ranting about is yea im a Chuck fan,but guys why write off this man ,this legend, thishero to some. Idol to others when hes done so much for the sport. Chuck is a Fighter end of. If Chuck , and only Chuck decides enough is enough, then i say this to Chuck. “On behalf of all the millions of people throughout the world” “Chuck thank you very much from the bottom of our hearts” and also Chuck, “Thanks for the memories big man”. You truely are the ufc legend of legends!!!! Nick “The Hull Bull” Foster, Hull England


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