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« | Home | »

Monday madness: Will Chuck Liddell retire?

By Zach Arnold | September 23, 2007

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I have a lot of site work to catch up on today, so we’ll go with an unconventional style here on the news update.

USA Today is asking if Chuck Liddell is going to retire.

A fascinating article on UFC’s branding efforts in the marketplace.

“Football is the NFL,” said Paul McGuire, vice president, integrated media at R&R. “The ultimate goal is you don’t say MMA, you say UFC. UFC represents mixed martial arts. It’s kind of like Coke and Kleenex. You don’t say, ‘I want a soda,’ you say, ‘I want a Coke.’ You don’t say, ‘I want a tissue,’ you say you want a Kleenex.”

More steroid scandals are coming to the US sports scene, according to Yahoo Sports (here and here) and USA Today and Steroid Nation.

Yesterday, Kevin Iole wrote a Yahoo News article covering the post-fight UFC 76 press conference. I received an e-mail from someone at the press conference claiming the following: “Jardine called Iole ignorant during one of his answers. There was no humor in it.” One other note from the press conference: Rampage Jackson has a hand injury and won’t be fighting until at least early 2008. Kevin has a new article in which Dana White says that Chuck Liddell is seriously considering retirement. Fightlinker has words for White.

Angry Sam Caplan. That could be a marketable gimmick. Angry Sam is now teaming up with Angry Adam Morgan, whose Cincinnati Bengals predictably lost to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday in NFL action. Who dey? Indeed.

An interview with Marcus Davis. Plus, Dave Meltzer writes that UFC’s latest upsets open numerous matchmaking possibilities. Eddie Goldman talked to HBO Sports boss Ross Greenburg about whether or not UFC is headed to the network.

Nick Diaz has a staph infection apparently.

Topics: Media, MMA, Pro Elite, UFC, Zach Arnold | 43 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

43 Responses to “Monday madness: Will Chuck Liddell retire?”

  1. manos says:

    I wonder what Iole asked Jardine.

  2. catch says:

    Wow, Jardine’s comment is even funnier considering what a low-key, nice guy he always comes off as. I wonder what Iole said to set that off.

  3. 45 Huddle says:

    I think Liddell should retire. He has lost something, and mentally he knows it. Such is the life of a striker…. On top of the world one minute, bottom of the barrel the next.

  4. Matt says:

    I need to Hoover my room, then practice my Ultimate Fighting.


  5. The UFC’s aggressiveness in branding its product shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. It’s an obvious business decision, suffocating the competition before it reaches adolescence.

    At the same time, if a competitor were to gain any kind of foothold in the MMA world, $20 million is a lot of money to spend on a tagline that’s only getting you laughed at.

    I think that Wired show they were previewing 76 is part of that initiative. I can already imagine Rogan going on about how Ultimate Fighter Forrest Griffin bangs the Ultimate Ring Girls by putting roofies in Mickey’s Ultimate Malt Liquor.

    Also, Kevin Iole is a miserable old hag. He should leave his swamp hut once in awhile.

  6. Ultimo Santa says:

    Liddell went into the Jardine fight with no game plan – simple as that. He can re-focus and come back stronger.

    I HATE the childish Internet reaction that anyone who loses one or two fights should either retire, or is ‘a complete piece of shit’ all of a sudden.

  7. Ivan Trembow says:

    A twenty-million-dollars-per-year deal with a marketing agency? Once again, as with the pending $100 million+ contract renewal with Spike TV, it’s going to be increasingly difficult to cry poverty in contract negotiations with fighters as more and more numbers like that start to be released publicly.

  8. Jeremy (Not that Jeremy) says:

    Has UFC ever cried poverty?

    UFC is turning a lot of revenue. The numbers are good. Fighters coming out of UFC are reporting that they were “taken care of.” Rumor has some of the top fighters making millions.

    If anyone should be “crying poverty” it’s the IFL and the like who are spending outside their means.

  9. Ultimo, you’re still being an apologist. It’s an equally childish reaction. One could just as easily say Jardine outgunned Liddell on the feet and smashed his hocks into tenderloin despite a flawless strategy by Liddell. You just don’t know what was going through his head.

  10. Grape Knee High says:

    Why would Liddell want to retire? Just because he lost? Excuse my French, but boo-fucking-hoo. Everyone loses.

    He looked strong in the first round, and if he kept attacking he would have KO’ed Jardine, IMO. He let Jardine steal a win by letting him stay out of range and pepper him with shots.

    I think the people sayign Chuck should retire or looked old are the real apologists here. They’re trying to excuse the loss for something outside of Chuck’s control, which is total horseshit. He got beaten by a less talented fighter, end of story. Enough with the excuses.

  11. Chris Lester says:

    When are the CSAC likely to release there medical reports?. Iv been hearing reports on forums (not the most accurate source i know) that shogun has a cerebral hematoma

  12. Grape, he got beat, for sure. But your definition of ‘talent’ is pretty fucked up. Jardine didn’t steal shit, either, that’s for sure. He beat the fuck out of Chuck for 15 minutes. Enough with the excuses indeed.

  13. klown says:

    I’m not done with Lidell.

    Put on Lidell vs Silva pronto!

  14. Jeremy (Not that Jeremy) says:

    A new steroid sting, focusing on customers of Chinese companies (because, of course, we shouldn’t go after the Chinese COMPANIES).

  15. Grape Knee High says:

    Aaron, what point are you trying to make exactly?

    Jardine came in with a good gameplan and executed it to perfection. Chuck did not execute. As you can see from my previous post, I don’t think Chuck got “old” or was “partying too much” or whatever excuses Chuck fanboys like 45 make. He lost. Fighters lose. Who is making excuses here?

    As far as talent…well, I don’t think many people would agree with you if you are seriously going to put forth the argument that Jardine is more talented than Chuck.

  16. Jeremy (Not that Jeremy) says:

    He lost, yeah. Either he had a plan, trained, etc, or he didn’t. Either way, he blew what should have been a sure thing in the eyes of many observers.

    AND, apparently he wants to retire. Or, so Dana says.

    I don’t regard either of them as very talented fighters in the sense of being “complete” MMA fighters. They both have glaring weaknesses that a more balanced fighter should be able to capitalize on. Chuck had a single overwhelming strength in his game that he gambled on over and over in this match, while he utterly failed to defend against Jardine’s strength (those damn kicks, one of which another fighter probably would have grabbed and tossed him to the ground with).

    I remember one point in the match where Chuck pulled out that nasty gorgeous combo, and I suddenly SAW what Chuck’s capabilities really are, and why so many people are his staunch defenders. But that wasn’t enough.

  17. cyphron says:

    In fighting sports, you have to be both physically strong and mentally strong. How a fighter bounces back from a loss says a lot about him mentally. No matter what Chuck says, that KO loss from Rampage is still ringing in head. He was tentative and didn’t deliver the counter attack after he kept taking the bruising kicks from Jardine.

    Chuck should take a year off just as Randy did and clear his head. But perhaps it’s too late. Chuck is way too one-dimensional in this age of the multi-dimensional fighter. If he can’t beat a one-dimensional fighter like Jardine, then what will he do against a striker/wrestler like Rampage or even Dan Henderson?

    The same thing can be said of Shogon. With the multidimensional aspect of MMA, gameplanning is doubly important. All these Pride fighters come in with half a gas tank and no gameplan is soundly defeated by less-talented fighters who fight smart with proper conditioning. It shouldn’t be a surprise that all the Couture fighters are winning fights. Couture knows the secret to success: great conditioning, gameplan your opponent’s weaknesses, and balls to the walls relentless attacks.

    I wonder if Houston Alexander can keep it up for a full three rounds? Can any of his opponents last that long?

  18. Psygone says:

    I think Machida vs Alexander is perfect test for both fighters.

  19. JThue says:

    From the AM report at:

    — “He’s already said he’ll be back in the gym next Monday,” said Hackleman, who has coached Liddell for 16 years. “He’s going to fight again, hopefully as soon as possible, maybe in December. We’re looking at ‘Shogun.’” —

    Am I the only one feeling pretty stupid for not thinking of this possibility? This fight would make more sense than sense itself.

  20. JThue says:

    Sould of course say the AM report at , sorry.

  21. The Gaijin says:

    Why are they “looking at Shogun”? Sounds like he’s selectively picking guys he thinks he’ll beat. That didn’t work out too well with Jardine did it?

    Give us freakin Chuck vs. Silva! The match Dana bitched and moaned about it being everyone else’s fault for not getting finalized in the past. Now that his best buddy would appear to be on “equal footing” with Silva (i.e. two losses in a row), he doesn’t think it’s meant to happen?

  22. zenki says:

    Chuck has a shit load of money , cars, women ,and belts on his wall.. Hes older and is slowly losing his hunger.. I think its smart to know when to walk away .. Exspecially kind of soon before u destroy your name..

  23. cyphron says:

    If White is smart, he will book Liddell VS Silva. Shogun is young and he’ll get over his loss and learn from it. Cardio is something he can work on. You can’t train heart, and that’ something I’ve never seen him lack. For the round and a half that he didn’t gassed, he did quite well. Without supplements to work with, he’s going to have to do it the hard way–real work and training. I think he can still be quite a force in the UFC.

    Shogun won’t be able to beat Rampage at this point, but I have no doubt that Shogun with good cardio can and will beat Liddell.

  24. JThue says:

    Silva vs. Liddell made sense two years ago and MAY make sense again sometime next year. Liddell vs. Shogun makes craploads of sense here and now in the UFC LHW-division. If Liddell’s camp is truly “looking at Shogon”, it in all likelyhood means they’ve received some hints from the UFC about it.

  25. JThue says:

    Why does Hansen have to sit out his original DSE deal when others have become free agents the moment they rejected the UFC offer?

  26. Body_Shots says:

    Why does Hansen have to sit out his original DSE deal when others have become free agents the moment they rejected the UFC offer?

    Maybe because PRIDE signed their fighters to all different types of contracts? I believe Dan Henderson fought his last fight under his DSE deal. James Thompson had seek a release to get out of his contract. Gomi’s still under contract, Yoshida may be as well etc etc.

  27. 45 Huddle says:

    PLus, Hansen very recently signed on with Pride. He basically signed an extension, and then a few months after, the company was sold to the UFC….. So that contract was most certainly different.

  28. D. Capitated says:

    So, do people still believe that line about the PRIDE guys not fighting because they anticipated the company being restarted? Because very, very few of them have actually gotten in the ring anywhere.

  29. Jeremy (Not that Jeremy) says:

    Some may have already been free agents because their contracts were complete, or had additional fights based on a mutually cancellable option.

    Since the larger American organizations do three to five fight deals, a pretty good chunk of your fighters are on contracts that will expire soon at any given moment.

    If Pride saw the end coming, they might well have throttled back on re-signing fighters as well.

  30. Smoogy says:

    Gomi himself said his DSE contract will run out this month. He has basically agreed to sign with HERO’S verbally. Aoki is in the same boat, I’m not sure when his deal runs out but he has shown interest in going to HERO’S.

    I think its a case of Zuffa being heavy handed with these international fighters and using the sketchy contracts as a bargaining chip. Assuming Hansen isn’t making this stuff up, they offered him half of what the contract they bought the (limited) option of buying would have paid him. If I’m Hansen, I’m looking at Lyoto Machida, who is getting every penny of his WFA deal (up to 70k at this point I believe) and wondering why I’m getting lowballed.

  31. Smoogy says:

    Err, they bought the limited option of transferring his contract. Or something like that. Hansen and Zuffa both had to agree to the contract transfer. I think you know what I mean.

  32. StreitigKaiser says:

    Liddell vs. Silva can definitely work again, but in order to get the hype it truly deserves both men are going to have to earn a winning notch on their record if they are expected to host an ultra-promotable main event. I honestly wasn’t surprised at Chuck’s performance; i saw his condition at No Limits prior to his fight and he definitely seemed to lack that killer instinct I have seen so many times before. Although I can imagine its hard to have title ambitions when the one man you can’t beat is the champion. Both he and Shogun have alot to work on if they plan on facing each other in the near future.

    I’m surprised White hasn’t fielded a Light-Heavyweight Mega-card Tourney, for December, with the winner getting the number 1 contender slot against Rampage. The possible contenders list is huge with Griffin, Jardine, Alexander, Ortiz, Evans, Yoshida, Machida, and Silva. i honestly don’t think anyone on this list with the possible exceptions of Silva and Alexander could actually beat Rampage right now.

    The Heavyweight division has a lot of questions to be answered as well with Randy looking at the possibilities of Fedor, Nogueira, Herring, Arlovski, Vera, Kongo, Sylvia and Cro Cop (assuming he is not completely washed up).

    Does anyone know if Mach Sakurai is going to step into the octagon soon?

  33. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    Aside from the exhibition tourneys on TUF, there hasn’t been a single-event UFC tournament in eight years (Ultimate Japan 2 in November 1999).

    I’m not saying it’s not a good idea, but … it’s definintely not the way that Zuffa’s done things.

  34. Dru Down says:

    “Does anyone know if Mach Sakurai is going to step into the octagon soon?”

    No time soon- he’s appearing on an upcoming Shootboxing card in October. I’m unclear as to whether he is signed to Shootboxing, or is competing as a representative of K-1. If it’s the latter, he probably won’t be appearing in the UFC any time soon.

  35. The Gaijin says:

    Isn’t the issue with not having tournaments more to do with the fact that unified rules won’t allow a fighter to fight more than once a night?

    They could do a tourney but it would probably take a year and that’s not even accounting for a winning fighter being medically suspended for 6+ months or anything like that. One of the good things about running in Japan was the ability to run tournys with semis + finals on the same event.

  36. D. Capitated says:

    They don’t need to do tournaments. Just make all the good matches.

    As for one night tournaments, Vegas allowed one recently, however it was limited to a 4 man tournament with 3 minute rounds.

  37. 45 Huddle says:

    UFC 39 & 41 left such a bad taste in Zuffa’s mouth, that I doubt we will see a tournament anytime again in the UFC. When Uno & Penn went to a draw…. making the tournament basically pointless…. It was the end to multi-card tournaments.

    At the same time, the UFC still kind of does unofficial tournaments. In a weird kind of way, the UFC Welterweight Division is going to have an 8-Man Tournament… I am making the assumption that if Parisyan wins in November, that he fights Jon Fitch to determine the next in line beyond GSP.

    Matt Serra vs. Matt Hughes
    Georges St. Pierre vs. Josh Koscheck
    Jon Fitch vs. Diego Sanchez
    Karo Parisyan vs. TBA

    Georges St. Pierre vs. Serra/Hughes
    Jon Fitch vs. Parisyan/TBA

    Georges St. Pierre vs. Jon Fitch (Hypothetical)

    So yes, the UFC hasn’t mad an official tournament, but the way things are turning out, it sure as heck has that structure to it.

  38. AS says:

    More analysis coming out of last week’s S&P report on Zuffa: The UFC’s ppv business is up 35% over last year through the first quarter. Full breakdown at:

    So picking up on a conversation last week, far from declining the UFC’s ppv revenue is actually growing.

  39. Christina says:

    Personally I think that Chuck Liddell is too young to retire. Even with the two loses it might look bad for some, but I think that his fire hasn’t burnt out yet. But then again with new UFC stars like Rampage and others, it could help knock Liddell’s popularity downeven further. It’s totally up to Liddell as to what he is going to do next. I just hope he doesn’t do one of those disappearing acts like some fighters have done who have lost in the past..

  40. D.Capitated says:

    More analysis coming out of last week’s S&P report on Zuffa: The UFC’s ppv business is up 35% over last year through the first quarter. Full breakdown at:

    So picking up on a conversation last week, far from declining the UFC’s ppv revenue is actually growing.

    You didn’t pay attention to the conversation then. No one doubted that it would be higher over the first quarter, since the first quarter of last year had subpar numbers compared to what happened from Hughes/Gracie onward.

  41. AS says:

    The first four pay-per-views of this year actually also outperformed the last four pay-per-views from last year. The numbers are going to come out very similar or with slight growth for the year. It depends on how bad Chuck’s loss hurts the December show.

  42. D. Capitated says:

    The first four pay-per-views of this year actually also outperformed the last four pay-per-views from last year. The numbers are going to come out very similar or with slight growth for the year. It depends on how bad Chuck’s loss hurts the December show.

    We also noted this. Again, that wasn’t really the point. They have an extra show on this year versus last and they haven’t been able to have a consistent 500,000 buy pace like they did for most of their midline shows (UFC 62, UFC 65) last year this year. Either they’re big or they aren’t.


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