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.