Although Chuck Liddell’s return to the cage last night ended in disastrous fashion, and despite the fact “The Iceman” will turn 49 in a couple of week’s time, the legend hasn’t said whether he’s retired again.
Liddel faced his longtime rival, Tito Ortiz for a third time on Saturday night, and unlike his first two bouts with the star, this time around he was the one taking the heavy shots. Liddell was knocked out in the opening round of the fight, which marked the first time since 2010 the former UFC champ had competed.
Due to Liddell’s age, and the fact he has been stopped in four straight bouts now, the California fighter was asked whether he’s retiring once again at the post-fight presser. Here is some of what Liddell had to say on that front, and about his performance (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“I don’t want to think about that right now,” Liddell said. “I mean, I’m not in the right state of mind to really talk about whether or not I’m done or not. But I felt good out there and I had fun, so we’ll see.”
“I loved being in there,” Liddell said. “You’ve got to understand, I love fighting. I don’t do this for money. I never did this for money or fame. That’s not why I started. I did this because I love being out there, I love fighting, so I was at home in there. I was ready to go. I wish I’d done a few things different, obviously, but it happens.
“I was kinda gonna slow play him, just make sure he didn’t get any confidence, get a cheap takedown, but I should’ve fought the way I normally do. I don’t care if you take me down, I’ll get back up. And I should’ve came at him with a fast pace. I was kinda back and forth between hanging back and moving fast…”
Now, at first glance, that doesn’t really sound like a guy who’s thinking about retiring does it? Note the comments about feeling “good” and that he was having “fun”. There’s a chance, of course, that after Liddell watches the bout, and sits down with his family and friends that indeed, “The Iceman” hangs up the gloves for good.
The other question here, however, is whether any promoters would be interested in having Liddell fight again? After all, this is a guy who isn’t far out from 50, and who hasn’t won a bout in over ten years. Ten years…
The online reaction to the headliner yesterday certainly didn’t seem to be favorable and that’s putting it kindly. The fight was indeed hard to watch. Even before the event, there didn’t appear to be much buzz behind it, and the fight’s narrative was more of the circus variety. As a result, one would think the market for Liddell bouts has plummeted further, after last night.
But, could a promoter come calling on Liddell for another fight? Unfortunately yes, but chances are the check for the bout will be considerably less.