Chuck Liddell: “I Haven’t Been Drinking”

Written by Tom Ngo
January 26th, 2010

Those are four words you usually want to say to a police officer, however former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell wants back in the Octagon and he understands there is no way his 40-year-old body can be in top shape if he’s chugging beers.

“I miss fighting. I miss competing. I miss sparring, too. I was giving my head a rest for a year, and I wouldn’t let people hit me,” Liddell said at yesterday’s “The Ultimate Fighter 11” media day.  “But I feel good. I just felt I was getting hurt by stuff that normally wouldn’t hurt me.”

What PROBABLY hurt was his TKO loss to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in his last outing at UFC 97, what DEFINITELY hurt was his see-you-tomorrow-morning knockout loss to Rashad Evans at UFC 88 prior to that.

“I understand,” Liddell said of his current standing in the UFC’s sexiest division. “It’s hard when you dominated for so long. I lost four of my last five. I don’t think I have anything to prove, but I would like to prove [UFC president Dana White] wrong.”

White has been pushing Liddell, a longtime friend, into retirement since his loss to Shogun last April.  It isn’t the fact Liddell has only walked away victorious once in his last five Octagon appearances, but it’s the manor in which he’s leaving the cage – usually dazed and confused after awaking another vicious knockout loss – that’s got White worried.

Regardless, “I’m not too old. I can still fight,” Liddell reiterated.

If any MMA fighter’s life could be compared to that of a rock star, it would be Liddell’s. If you’ve ever been around Liddell when he’s on The Strip, you know exactly who the the new King of Vegas is. However, just because you can spot Liddell on the party scene, it doesn’t mean he’s getting tipsy.

“I’m doing a lot of training,” Liddell said. “I still go out sometimes and hang out, but I haven’t been drinking. I’m watching what I eat more and training more consistent. I’m going to be training from now until whenever I fight.

Not too long ago, Liddell was the face of the organization, thus the entire sport of mixed martial arts. His Mohawk was plastered all over the planet, even making cameos in the mega-popular HBO series, Entourage, as well as gracing the cover of ESPN the Magazine.

Because “The Iceman” remains an imposing figure in the sport, White opened his Octagon door one “final” time so Liddell can complete his trilogy with Tito Ortiz, AFTER they served as coaches on the latest season of TUF 11.

Liddell already owns two knockout victories over Mr. Jameson, so a third W would guarantee at least one more scrap for Liddell, right?

“It doesn’t matter. I’ve just got to show him I can perform. If I perform, he’ll keep letting me fight,” Liddell said in closing.

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