It has been awhile since Chuck Liddell has thrown down in the UFC. Liddell has remained mum on a comeback after retiring with three KO losses in a row. However, there is one opponent that could tempt the Iceman back into the octagon.
The UFC Hall of Fame fighter has been enjoying retirement now for almost two years. Chuck Liddell rode off into the sunset after getting knocked out by Rich Franklin at UFC 115. Liddell has since accepted an office position with the company and appears worldwide as a company spokesman. While Liddell has remained silent on a comeback for the better part of the last 22 months, one fight in particular has the Iceman intrigued.
[adinserter name=”366 right”]In an interview with Ariel Helwani for Fuel TV Liddell said, “The only thing that would even make me think about it (a comeback fight) is if they gave me a shot at the title. So, we’ll see. For now? Yeah. Jon Jones. I don’t wanna come back as a sideshow. It’s just one of those things. It’s not something I wanna do.”
There you have it. Liddell is only interested in one fight and that one fight is with arguably the best current pound for pound fighter in the sport, Jon Jones. Liddell isn’t interested in settling an old score with Tito Ortiz (who has called him out since Chuck retired), he wants the belt and who can blame him?
Let’s face it. This is a fight that is never going to happen. Dana White wanted Liddell to retire long before he did, so there is almost no chance he would be interested in bringing Liddell back for one fight, especially against a one-man wrecking crew like Jon Jones. This isn’t a Randy Couture situation where Couture retired and came back to fight Tim Sylvia, etc. This is much different, although Chuck probably envisions that Couture vs. Sylvia situation for he and Bones.
Did Chuck retire too early? It is hard to say. He looked fantastic against Franklin before he got tagged at the very end of the first round. I have no doubt he can get in there and give someone a fight. Unfortunately he just can’t take a punch anymore. In his prime, Liddell could swarm an opponent and absorb strikes like an animal. At some point whether it was due to age, years of hard partying, or just the toll of being a fighter, Liddell’s chin gave out.
[adinserter name=”366 left”]The statement got me thinking about who would win between Liddell in his prime and the current version of Jon Jones. Jones is certainly a more evolved fighter, but I would give the edge to Chuck. I could see a fight where Liddell attacks, Bones tries to defend, a fist fight breaks out, and Jones goes lights out. At 42 years old, I don’t think Liddell would last more than a minute with Bones in 2012.
Unfortunately the only way we’ll ever see this fight is in UFC Undisputed.