Time for "The Iceman" to Chill

Written by Tom Ngo
September 10th, 2008

Questions regarding former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell’s retirement came almost as quickly as Rashad Evans’ right hook did at UFC 88. After suffering his third stunning loss in his last four fights, Liddell is now searching for answers on where his career is currently headed. Just three months shy of reaching 39 years of age, it just might be time for “The Iceman” to chill out.

“I’ll definitely take a little time,” said Liddell. “I always said I’ll decide if I want to retire in the training room, not after a fight. I’m fine. I got caught. What do you want me to say?”

That’s just it Chucky, I don’t know if there is much more to say. By no means do I want to kick a man when he’s down, but if he fails to realize that he needs to stay down, then I just might be forced to.

Liddell has done so much for the growth and popularity of the sport. The UFC will be forever indebted to Liddell and his rock star persona. He was the face of the organization for so many years, that his face and name were synonymous with with the UFC.

But the times, as well as the field in which he once dominated, has changed. The division is much deeper and younger than when Liddell was rolling off seven consecutive UFC victories, four of them being successful title defenses.

After his loss to Evans, Liddell said something very similar to when he was TKO’d  and lost his title to Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 71.

“I’m fine, I got caught man what do you want me to say?”

Liddell is making it seem as though his opponent wasn’t necessarily better than him, just that he beat him to the punch, hitting him before he could hit them. That certainly is one way to look at it, but another way he can look at it is that he is getting older. That is why he keeps getting “caught.” He isn’t as quick or as sharp as he once was, and he certainly doesn’t carry the same mystique that he used to either.

So what do we want you to say Chuck? Well, there are two things that you can say that would please all of your fans; retire or move up to the weaker heavyweight division.

If you retire now, you will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame much faster and you will be able to salvage your legacy before it gets worse.

However, if the fighter in you prevents you from hanging them up, then you can do what current UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture did and move up to a weaker and slower division.

“It’s still my goal to get back in there [and win the title],” Liddell said, “but, obviously, it’s going to take a little bit longer.”

By moving up to 265, that will certainly be a quicker road back to a title shot, look at Brock Lesnar. He only has three professional MMA bouts, 1-1 within the UFC cages, and he will be taking on Couture for his belt at UFC 91. That could be you!

Sometimes the easiest road to travel is the path with least resistance, because you aren’t getting any younger.

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