Former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell will be making his return to the Octagon this weekend against Rashad Evans. This will be the “Iceman’s” first fight in over eight months, as he was sidelined with a pulled hamstring. Now fully healed, Liddell believes that his next fight should be for the title if he can get past Evans.
“I’m ready to fight again,” Liddell told MMAWeekly.com. “I’m excited about this. I can’t wait to get in there…I’m 100 percent.”
Liddell will be turning 39 this December, but seems more motivated than ever to regain the title that he feels is rightfully his. Most fighters have retired by the time they have reached his age, but by the way he talks, it seems as though he is just getting started.
“I don’t find it hard to get motivated for fights,” stated an excited Liddell. “I love fighting and I want to get my title back. I want to get my title back, so I’m highly motivated for that.”
Evans and Liddell were initially slated to fight at UFC 85 in June, however Liddell had to pull out at the last minute due to a severely pulled right hamstring.
Liddell has been sitting around long enough, and is ready to take on the undefeated Evans. Liddell has fought many opponents with a strong wrestling background, similar to Evans, in the past, such as Tito Ortiz, Kevin Randleman and Renato “Babalu” Sobral, however Liddell feels that Evans is a much better version of those fighters that he defeated.
“He has a different shot than they do,” said the Iceman. “He’s a different fighter in general. He has better stand up than either one of them.”
Evans should know better than to stand up with Liddell. His advantage would clearly be to try and take the fight to the ground, unfortunately, he would have to engage and come within Liddell’s dangerous range to do so.
“People have to respect my power,” said the former champion. “But a lot of times you don’t get that respect until you actually hit them a couple of times.”