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Says Dana:

When legendary UFC light-heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell enters the Octagon this Saturday he may do so for the last time in his historic career.

Liddell (21-7), who once ruled the division for nearly four years, will square off against former middleweight champion Rich Franklin in what would have been a dream battle just a few years back. As it stands, the contest pits two fighters at a crossroads.

For the 35-year-old Franklin, a loss would spell his second in a row, and seriously impede his status as a contender at light-heavyweight. For the 39-year-old Liddell however, the stakes are a bit higher, as a loss would likely result in the end of his career according to UFC President Dana White.

"Yes, and I think he will say the same thing," White responded when asked if a Liddell loss would result in his permanent retirement. "But let me tell you what the difference is - the difference before, when I wanted him retired, was that he wasn't doing the right thing. He was out partying every night and doing the wrong thing not the right thing. He wasn't living the life of a professional athlete.

White has known and worked with Liddell for much of his professional life. In fact, he managed the former champion early on in his career, and remains very close to Liddell on a personal level. After Liddell's most recent loss, a first-round knockout at the hands of current UFC light-heavyweight champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, the two had a mini-summit on the status of Liddell's career with Liddell giving assurances to mend his ways in order to continue competing at the highest level of the sport.

"He and I sat down and talked, and I will tell you what, he has kept his word," White told Fighters' Only. "He has been in phenomenal shape since the beginning of "The Ultimate Fighter" and it will be interesting to see how he does because Rick Franklin is tough, he is no joke. He had that war with Dan Henderson that many people believe he won, he had the war with Wanderlei Silva - he has fought all the best in the world."
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Let Me Bang Bro
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Dana should be worried about Chuck not wanting to retire again. If he cant fight in the UFC he may go to another promotion as i think this is the last fight on his contract?

Besides, win or lose he should get his Tito fight I think.
 

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It doesn't matter what shape Chuck is in, he's old and past it and the sport continues to evolve. All he will be doing is moving towards another KO loss if he starts winning again. When the guy is already slurring and has had a long career of mainly standup fights / getting pounded out by Randy & Rampage, he needs to stop being so stubborn and consider his health.

No one wants to see the UFC's biggest star struggling to talk in 5 years time, and it's heading that way already.
 

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-DIBKIS-
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Chuck is getting matched up with great fighters and that is why he is losing. Just because he can't be a title contender doesn't mean he won't be able to get some wins over mid level fighters.

His last losses were against people like Rampage, Rashad, and Shogun who all went on to be champions afterwards. Seems to me like everyone wa slosing to them at that point as well. I don't think that it shows Liddell is done if Franklin beats him either. Franklin has only lost to Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort, he is in the same boat as Liddell. They get these top contenders, and then when they struggle, people think they are washed up.

I am not convinced by any stretch of the imagination that Liddell is the same as he used to be. But I think that a step down in competition would allow him to continue to fight for a little bit longer.
 

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Cheeky freak of the week
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Just like all the boxers did who now can't talk properly.

There comes a time when someone else needs to step in, because these fighters are too stubborn and delusional.
I agree. Chuck is slowing down and he should hang up his gloves. It's not about if he still can fight or not. It's about how many more blows to the head he can take before he will take permanent damage. He should just retire already, and forever be remembered as a legend of the sport.
 

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Definitely agree that Chuck should be allowed to make his own decisions. I've always been brought up to believe that you should do whatever makes you feel happy and if Chuck still has that fighter spirit then why not let him continue fighting? He is a grown ass man, let him do what he wants. Nothing against Franklin but I really hope Chuck puts the stamp on him come sat.
 

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Definitely agree that Chuck should be allowed to make his own decisions. I've always been brought up to believe that you should do whatever makes you feel happy and if Chuck still has that fighter spirit then why not let him continue fighting? He is a grown ass man, let him do what he wants. Nothing against Franklin but I really hope Chuck puts the stamp on him come sat.
Because brain damage is real. It's great that you believe in allowing people to do whatever makes them happy, but are you sure that includes allowing has-been fighters to get punched in the head when they are already showing symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy?

'He is a full grown man'. Yes and so was Freddie Roach, now ask him if he regrets being stubborn and fighting on.

Chuck has had his time. What is the point in him contuing his career at the mid tier level? There is nothing left for him to achieve, he has done it before and doesn't need to do it again when you consider the damage he has and will continue to suffer. Add to that he has already got KTFO by the current champ, and beat by numerous other fighters who are still around. Any further attempts at regaining the title are futile and only damaging to Chuck's future quality of life.

Forgive me for not wanting to see someone continue fighting, continue being hurt, continue suffering head trauma and concussions against better and younger fighters, all because he is a grown man who wanted to do it, as if that's some sort of excuse.
 

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Because brain damage is real. It's great that you believe in allowing people to do whatever makes them happy, but are you sure that includes allowing has-been fighters to get punched in the head when they are already showing symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy?
I wouldn't want any fighter to develop any brain damage, but the thing is Chuck has access to the best doctors in the USA right now and i'm sure if he and they felt that he was at risk of becoming damaged then they wouldn't allow him to step into the octagon. I trust Chuck's judgement on his condition. He may be a warrior but he ain't stupid. Besides for as long as I can remember, Chuck has always had mild slurred speech, probably due to alcohol if anything.

Chuck has had his time. What is the point in him contuing his career at the mid tier level? There is nothing left for him to achieve, he has done it before and doesn't need to do it again when you consider the damage he has and will continue to suffer. Add to that he has already got KTFO by the current champ, and beat by numerous other fighters who are still around. Any further attempts at regaining the title are futile and only damaging to Chuck's future quality of life.
Ok, I agree that the chances of Chuck being champ again are very slim to say the least, and he has nothing left to prove since he has pretty much done it all, but I think that further reinforces the notion of Chuck as a man's man and a TRUE fighter. I honestly believe that, at the end of the day, Chuck probably realises he will never get the title again and simply just wants to fight while he is still mentally and physically able to
 

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I wouldn't want any fighter to develop any brain damage, but the thing is Chuck has access to the best doctors in the USA right now and i'm sure if he and they felt that he was at risk of becoming damaged then they wouldn't allow him to step into the octagon. I trust Chuck's judgement on his condition. He may be a warrior but he ain't stupid. Besides for as long as I can remember, Chuck has always had mild slurred speech, probably due to alcohol if anything.
First of all, brain injury and all things related is one of the most uncertain areas within medicine, especially considering how common it is. There is no way to know what the future holds for a damaged brain, regardless of how good the doctors are. Second, CAT scans and whatever it is they do before fights are not enough to determine brain injury. People sometimes suffer from post concussion syndrome and have clear CAT scans, clear MRI scans and regular EEGs results. That's just an example of the level of complexity and uncertainty that doctors face when tackling brain injury.

Doctors know full well fighters incur brain damage and continually risk their health, as do the fighters. But at what point does a doctor say he can't fight? When there is slurred speach which is either alcohol in Chuck's case or the signs of CTE? Or does it take until the fighter is in Freddie Roach or Meldrick Taylor's state before anyone will take any notice?

You trust Chuck's judgement, yet he just like everyone else has no idea what state his brain is in, no idea what the future holds and no idea what more sparring/fighting will do. And for what? A futile end to a career that has already been to the top and down again.

I don't trust Chuck's judgement one bit, but I know slurred speach when I hear it. Alcohol or brain injury - not something I'd be willing to gamble on.

Ok, I agree that the chances of Chuck being champ again are very slim to say the least, and he has nothing left to prove since he has pretty much done it all, but I think that further reinforces the notion of Chuck as a man's man and a TRUE fighter. I honestly believe that, at the end of the day, Chuck probably realises he will never get the title again and simply just wants to fight while he is still mentally and physically able to
'TRUE fighter' - again that's all well and good but this isn't a movie. I respect Chuck and what he's done in this sport, which is exactly why I don't want to see him get beat up anymore. Win or lose, he's taken too many shots to still be getting in there in a desperate and blatantly pointless attempt at getting the title back. Evans, Rampage and Shogun all knocked him out, and somehow he thinks he's going to get the title back. Words fail me.

No one will ever question Chuck's heart and him being a born fighter, but that doesn't change the obvious. The fact he can't take a punch anymore is enough of a sign he's taken too much damage already. Same goes for Big Nog. These guys are done.
 
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