Although it would be convenient for UFC president Dana White if Chuck Liddell quietly called it a career, it appears as though “The Iceman” isn’t quite ready to ride off into the Las Vegas sunset.
Despite dropping four of his last five fights, with two of them ending with Liddell face-planting into the canvas, the 39-year-old’s long-time trainer and friend John Hackleman claims that his homie is far from done.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Hackleman said. “Just on his abilities, his skill and his power, and what he has left, I think he has more than one fight left in him. Maybe his game isn’t what it was 10 years ago. I don’t know. But he’s definitely at the top of the food chain.”
Since Liddell’s fall from grace, White has long stated that he would prefer for his confidant to hang ’em up rather than receive unnecessary punishment from the UFC’s newer generation.
Hack claims that his client has fought valiantly against the world’s best and the UFC shouldn’t be in such a hurry to pour dirt on Liddell’s illustrious career.
“Who beat him? ‘Shogun’ (Rua). Quinton (Jackson). Rashad (Evans),” Hackleman said. “And he was barely beaten in a really close, one-point fight by [Keith] Jardine, so it’s not like he was knocked out by Shannon Ritch.”
Although White claims that Chuck’s fighting career is over, he has offered the future Hall of Famer an unprecedented lifetime contract to remain with the UFC as an ambassador.
But what about that last fight remaining on his current UFC deal? What about the possibility of an extension?
“You’ll have to ask Dana White that,” Hackleman said about Liddell’s future inside the Octagon. “Chuck will make his decision, and then it’ll be up to Dana whether to give him a fight or not. We’re just hanging back right now and relaxing.
“He’s fine. He’s a veteran who doesn’t like to lose, but he takes his losses and accepts them. He’s looking for what’s next. There’s no hurry. There’s no rush.”
The fact that less people are getting amped to see The Iceman fight is another indication there is no rush for a decision to be made.
However, if this is indeed the end, Liddell has had a great career.
“Even if he doesn’t (fight anymore), [Muhammad] Ali in his final days didn’t do too well, and he’s still a legend,” Hack said in closing. “So are Roberto Duran and ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard. Chuck’s still proven himself as one of the greatest, if not the greatest.”