Monday, May 14, 2018

In 2010, out of concern for his friend’s health, UFC president Dana White gave league Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell a no-show desk job in return for retiring; ‘The Iceman thought it was for life. However, when WME-IMG bought the UFC, they cut costs. Included in that were a number of personnel, including Liddell and fellow Hall of Famer Matt Hughes.

Oscar de la Hoya recently announced he was about to make a deal with Liddell, who turns 49 this year, and went out on a three-fight losing streak, all by T/KO, eight years ago.

Liddell was clear that he intends to make a deal to fight again, and that his return isn’t contingent upon Tito Ortiz signing.

UFC president Dana White had expressed concern when he heard reports that DLH was trying to sign Liddell. Unscrupulous promoters allowing boxers to continue fighting with scrambled brains is arguably the worst thing in all of sport.

“If they are going to partner up in the MMA business, nothing will make me happier,” said White. “If he plans on kicking off his MMA program with Chuck fighting, that would not be good and really, really bum me out. Chuck Liddell is almost 50 years old, he doesn’t need to be fighting.”

Liddell was blunt.

“With all due respect, yeah, leave it alone. Leave me alone,” said Liddell, as transcribed by Shaun Al-Shatti for MMA Fighting. “You promised something to me for a long time and it’s gone. But it’s not even that. I want to fight. I miss everything. Everyone always asks me, ‘Hey man, this must be a lot better than fighting?’ No, no, I still — that was my favorite thing. My wife asks me, ‘How do you like doing that?’ My wife asks me that all the time. I still miss it. I miss everything. I miss cutting weight. I miss everything that goes with it, everything, the good, the bad. It’s all of it. I mean, I miss hanging out the gym, going and working out every day. It’s fun to me.

“It’s [White’s] opinion. It’s how he feels, and that’s okay with me. You’re entitled to your opinion and what you think. Everybody’s entitled to their opinion. If I can’t fight, if I don’t feel like I can perform or go out there and perform, I wouldn’t. But I feel like I can still perform, especially enough to beat Tito, so I’ll be ready.”

Liddell conceded that White was far from alone in his expressions of concern, and said if you don’t like it, don’t watch.

“I respect that, and you know what, it doesn’t bother me,” said Liddell. “There’s plenty of people telling me, ‘Please stay. You’re doing this, you’re doing that. Please stay.’ And yeah, hey, if you don’t like it, don’t watch. It’s okay. If you don’t like it, don’t watch. Go watch the old films of me, it’s okay. It’s okay with me. I always say I’m blessed for how well I feel for being 48 and fighting for about 20 years.”

Listen to Liddell’s voice. It doesn’t take a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing. If you think Liddell has suffered brain damage, then as he said, don’t watch.