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Old 09-24-2007, 06:03 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Chuck Liddell Ponders Retirement

Posted by Kevin Iole on September 23, 2007 at 6:00 am ET
by Kevin Iole/Yahoo! Sports
(Reprinted from Yahoo! Sports with permission)

UFC president Dana White said Sunday that after a lengthy conversation with “The Iceman” Chuck Liddell Saturday, he would not be surprised if Liddell retires from mixed martial arts competition.

Liddell, a former UFC light heavyweight champion and its biggest drawing card, lost his second fight in a row on Saturday when he dropped a split decision to Keith Jardine at UFC 76 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

Quinton Rampage Jackson, who knocked Liddell out in the first round of a May 26 bout in Las Vegas to lift the light heavyweight title from him, speculated that Liddell may have been gun-shy.

But White, Liddells former manager and a close personal friend, speculated that Liddell may simply no longer have the passion to fight. White said he didnt see the fire that Liddell used to exhibit and that it resulted in a flat performance. At the post-fight news conference, Liddell deferred questions about his future. He said he would go home and think about whether he would fight again, which in and of itself was newsworthy since hed never had given an indication before that he was remotely considering that option.

But White said he spoke with Liddell in the locker room and they had a frank discussion.

Theres a hunger thing that you have to have to be an elite fighter and I just didnt see a Chuck Liddell who was as hungry as he used to be, White said Sunday. Chuck has made a lot of money in this business and hes done a lot of things, but he wasnt the Chuck of old.

Chuck was never a guy who fought for money; he fought because he loved to fight. Hed just as soon go out and fight in the back yard for free as fight before 20,000 people on a card he was making a ton of money because he just loved to fight.

Jackson said he wasnt sure Liddell was willing to stand in the pocket and trade blows, hallmarks of a career that will soon land Liddell in the UFCs Hall of Fame.

Jackson couldnt pinpoint why, but suggested some fighters have difficulty overcoming a knockout loss. I think Chuck was probably a little gun-shy, Jackson said. I went through it when I lost to Wanderlei (Silva) and so I know what its like. I could see it. Jardine was, too, but not as gun-shy as Chuck.

It depends on the person and how strong they are for how long it takes to get that out of you.

Liddell dismissed the notion, saying I dont feel it affected me.

White sided with Liddell on that issue and pointed to the way Liddell came out quickly at the start of the fight. He landed a right hand early that raised a welt on Jardines bald head, though Jardine joked after the fight that Sometimes, I start bleeding when I walk into the cage.

White said he thought Liddell became fatigued and discussed Liddells training habits with him. Liddell is a night owl who likes to attend clubs even in the nights before he fights.

But White said Sunday that Liddell told him that he had taken good care of himself and wasnt club-hopping.

He said he was getting his sleep and he was eating the right things and that he wasnt going out at all, White said. I dont know. Chuck just wasnt Chuck. Thats not the kind of a fight Im going to remember Chuck for when he eventually does quit. Chuck was a guy with that killer instinct. Remember the way he went right after Tito (Ortiz) in their first fight? Thats kind of the perfect example of who Chuck Liddell was as a fighter, but I didnt see those same things last night.

If Liddell retires, the UFC will lose its top drawing card. Liddell was the main drawing card in the three biggest live gates in the companys history and in North American mixed martial arts history. His Dec. 30 rematch with Ortiz at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas brought in a record live gate of $5.39 million.

But White said the UFC will survive even if Liddell opts to retire.

At the end of the day, we have so many talented fighters in the UFC that well be fine, White said. Were not a one-trick pony, thats for sure. Chuck is always going to be a part of the UFC, whether hes fighting or not, but were definitely not going to be in any kind of trouble if he quits.

He needs to do whats right for him and not worry about us. This isnt the kind of sport you can be in half-heartedly. If you dont have the passion for it, its time to get out. Only Chuck really knows how he feels, but you wonder because he hasnt looked the same, fire-wise, in either of these last two fights.

Kevin Iole is the national boxing/MMA writer for Yahoo! Sports. This story originally appeared on Yahoo! Sports and is syndicated on MMAjunkie.com as part of a content-partnership deal between the two sites.
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Old 09-24-2007, 06:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
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i can see where liddel is coming from here. he lost to one of the best fighters in the world, and then lost to a tuf contestant. if the loss came from vanderlei i don't think he'd be as bothered. chuck had a great run in the ufc, and he probably wanted to retire on top. staying in the game almost ruined shamrocks legacy, so i guess chuck doesnt want to do the same.

i still want to see chuck face vanderlei, but if hes not right mentally then theres no point.
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Old 09-24-2007, 07:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Maybe Liddel should take a year off like Couture did
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Old 09-24-2007, 07:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Grotty
Maybe Liddel should take a year off like Couture did
I agree. I think that would be the best thing for him. Wanderlei did the same thing and he looked great the other night like he was ready to go at any time. The only thing with Chuck though, is how out of shape will he get if he takes a year off. There were reports that he was pushing close to 240lbs at the time his 3rd fight w/ Tito was being discussed.
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Old 09-24-2007, 07:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I really hope he doesn't retire for good. A year out or so would hopefully bring back that desire for the game. I doubt we'd see him at the side commentating either, he's terrible at it. As for Jardine winning due to Chuck not being on form is questionable though. I think he fought a very intelligent fight countering Chucks style nicely but thats for another thread.
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Old 09-24-2007, 07:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Man, I'm not a Liddell fan at all, I hardly ever choose him in fights but I don't think that he should retire just yet, he has some years left in him. To me, it looks as if he just isn't into it right now, and any man here can at least appreciate that much. How many times have you went into your job and just did not want to be there?

He has lost his passion for it at the moment thats all, he's not washed up at all. You can tell by looking at him in recent bouts, not the same man at all.

Take some time off Chuck, re-evaluate in a years time and see how you feel then, you don't need to fight anymore after that if you don't want to. Retire after a years time off to wonder this decision, all the great fighters go through it.
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Old 09-24-2007, 07:59 AM   #7 (permalink)
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i think he need to retire he had his run
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Old 09-24-2007, 08:09 AM   #8 (permalink)
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i actually think if liddel took a year off he would come back like a heayweight joe riggs,liddell needs fights and its true he does cut alot of weight i feel bad for him cus i think hes done.
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Old 09-24-2007, 10:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I noticed at UFC 76 that Liddell didn't seem himself. There were 2 opportunities I saw that I know Liddell would have pounced on in the past.
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Old 09-24-2007, 10:27 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I wonder if a Liddell/Silva fight would bring the fire back into him?? I know he really wants the fight, so maybe if the two square off in the Octagon, and finally settle it, then he should walk away.

Personally, I think Liddell would want to go out on a high note. Maybe make the Silva/Liddell fight and then Liddell retires. If he loses, then nbd because he loses to one of the best in the business, and that score is finally settled. If he wins, then he can go out on a high note. Neither fighter would be looked at any different because both of them are great fighters.

No offense to Jardine, because he is a force and a great fighter, but I just think that Liddell should go out on a great fight, not one where he loses to an underdog in a fight that he shouldnt have been put in in the first place. Silva/Liddell (win, lose, or draw) would be the perfect fight to do just that.
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