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Chuck Liddell career tributes in the media

By Zach Arnold | April 19, 2009

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The first wave of them started to appear Monday morning. Chuck Liddell will be busy discussing future career plans with friends and family, but Liddell’s career as a fighter is all but done in the eyes of well… just about everyone.

Arash Markazi in Sports Illustrated:

It’s ironic that the decline of Liddell’s career coincided with the rise in popularity of the sport he helped usher in. When he fought Quentin “Rampage” Jackson two years ago, he was on the cover of ESPN magazine and ESPNEWS televised the weigh-in for UFC 71 live, both firsts for MMA. It was the first time many mainstream outlets began to cover UFC and MMA regularly although they would never see Liddell in his prime as he was for UFC 66, his last big win, when he beat Tito Ortiz by TKO. The event produced the highest live gate revenue in North American mixed martial arts history and is still the UFC’s biggest pay-per-view success to date with about 1 million buys.

James Brydon of Sportsnet in Canada:

I love Liddell and I certainly think he can fight and be exciting, but when it’s becoming your routine that after a fight you say, “I fought well, I just got caught,” it’s time to hang ’em up.

Nate Wilcox:

Sadly, I have to admit the dude is an all-time great. A legend. A sure-fire guaranteed first ballot Hall of Famer. The man who did more to get MMA over with the American public than any other figure in the history of the sport. The face of MMA during its first boom in the States. A fighter whose highlight reel KOs and bouts against Randy Couture and Wanderlei Silva will be watched as long as the sport has fans.

Yahoo Sports:

But this loss (against Shogun), and all of his previous losses, does not diminish what he has accomplished in mixed martial arts. He ends with 21 wins, 14 of which came from knockouts and submissions. He fought in 22 different UFC events, starting with UFC 17 in 1998. Liddell was the first superstar of MMA, the first household name in the sport.

Thomas Gerbasi on UFC.com:

But let’s not have this be a funeral for a great career. Instead, let’s remember what Liddell has meant to the UFC and the sport of mixed martial arts. That is a type of celebration that Liddell would probably do anything to steer clear of, as he was never about the attention, getting pats on the back, magazine covers, or glowing television features. He was always about the fight, and when I asked him a couple years ago how he would like to be remembered a hundred years from now, his answer wasn’t as terse as it usually was, and it spoke volumes.

“As a fighter,” said Liddell. “As someone who didn’t duck anyone, someone who fought everybody that came up, and that always came out there to fight tough. I love to fight, I love the fight game, and I went out there and performed.”

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 38 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

38 Responses to “Chuck Liddell career tributes in the media”

  1. Fluyid says:

    So long, Chuck. You thumbed Tiger White in the eye and messed him up, you bastard!

  2. Ultimo Santa says:

    Chuck looked in decent shape on Saturday, and might have KOed the Shogun that we saw fight Forrest and Coleman. But unfortunately for him, the Shogun Rua from PRIDE showed up, and looked better than ever.

    The difference is that Chuck is (was) a great fighter. Shogun is a great martial artist.

    While Rua was changing his diet, training regimen, and learning new techniques, Liddell was sticking to the same old same old.

    It’s not that Chuck was physically unable to win that fight – it was that he came out as the same fighter as he was the last 4 outings. No footwork, no head movement, and with his arms bobbing around shoulder-level.

    This may have worked against Couture and Ortiz several times (men who were never feared for their dangerous hand speed) but against a real striker, Liddell was just begging to be KOed (again).

    Had he corrected his technique after the 2nd Rampage loss, he might have not suffered so many defeats, but Liddell and his “it ain’t broke so I won’t fix it” mentality is what ultimately cut his career a little short.

  3. Fluyid says:

    I have to respectfully disagree with you, Ultimo Santa.

    My opinion is that Liddell’s reflexes are greatly diminished and he no longer takes the same punch he once did. Expecting that, at nearly 40, he should now learn to move his feet more properly and move his head is asking too much. He has fought one way for so very long that I don’t believe he could re-make himself at this stage.

    I suppose he could re-invent himself as a ground and pound fighter. In that sense, I agree with you. Overall, though, in my opinion, he was basically a slugger with outstanding wrestling, and his strong suits have been:

    1) a good haymaker in a sport whose participants haven’t evolved good punching defense;

    2) a good wrestler, and

    3) a good enough chin to outlast and outslug his opponents, who were unable to get the fight to the ground.

    Does anyone else here remember Foreman vs. Frazier 2? Frazier tried to change his style completely and backpeddle and move. That wasn’t who he was and he got clobbered again.

  4. Zack says:

    There’s no way that was his last fight. That is all.

  5. 45 Huddle says:

    Shogun beating Liddell, and looking good in the process, was the very best result for the UFC. If Liddell beat a tired Shogun, I think most fans would have known Liddell still didn’t have it. With the current result, Shogun is back into the mix, and is another fighter who could make the division look interesting.

    Overall, LHW is a strange division. I wouldn’t say the division is weak, because there is a lot of talent. Just seems like there is a real change happening. Silva & Liddell are finished as LHW’s. Guys like Cavalcante, Jones, Cane, & Bader are the new crop of talent coming up. Should be interesting to see which one’s can make the biggest impact.

  6. Mr.Roadblock says:

    Chuck is for sure a Hall of Fame fighter and has helped build MMA in America more than just about anyone else.

    Not to take anything away from Chuck, but his key wins were against handpicked opponents. UFC created a sphere in 2003-2005 where they built up Chuck and Tito for a mega-fight. Along the way they threw in Couture and Shamrock to get beat and give the rub to the two new guys who were to fight and then beat up on the likes of Babalu. Along the way Couture beat Liddell and Ortiz and got added to the mix. UFC had that trio and Vitor Belfort. They had a closed circle of guys who’s strengths and weaknesses fit each other. By saying these guys are the best in the world at 205 made them the best in the world at 205 for UFC fans.

    I’m not trying to rehash PRIDE vs UFC rhetoric here. But going back to 2003 I was saying Chuck is a counter puncher with a brutal looping left hook and a crushing right hand. The guys he was beating were straight forward fighters with no boxing defense. As soon as he runs into a guy with a good boxing guard that has mobility and can throw a straight punch he’ll lose. As soon as he fought Rampage in PRIDE that happened. It has now happened three times in the past two years and Jardine who just stayed mobile and threw the same punch kick combo for three rounds beat Liddell.

    If Evans, Jardine and Shogun fought the great 2003-2006 Liddell the results would have been the same.

    To that end if you sent a middle of the pack running back from today to the 1960s or 1970s he’d run over everyone. It’s evolution.

    We have to appreciate Chuck, Ken Shamrock, Tito, etc for what they did when they did it with the skill sets and training regimens that they had. MMA will continue to evolve. Styles and techniques will change. Better athletes will come into the fold, etc.

    Also here is a prediction. Chuck will fight again. The spin will be weight cutting was having an effect on him. He’ll fight either Couture (if he beats Nog), Mir (if Mir and Couture lose), or Nog (if Couture loses and Mir wins). If Chuck wins that fight he’ll immediately fight Brock Lesnar.

  7. Fred says:

    Thank you, Chuck Liddell, for all the great performances. This was a 1st-class guy who always came to fight. A future Hall of Famer who will always support the sport in whatever role he’s in.

  8. EJ says:

    “Not to take anything away from Chuck, but his key wins were against handpicked opponents. UFC created a sphere in 2003-2005 where they built up Chuck and Tito for a mega-fight. Along the way they threw in Couture and Shamrock to get beat and give the rub to the two new guys who were to fight and then beat up on the likes of Babalu. Along the way Couture beat Liddell and Ortiz and got added to the mix. UFC had that trio and Vitor Belfort. They had a closed circle of guys who’s strengths and weaknesses fit each other. By saying these guys are the best in the world at 205 made them the best in the world at 205 for UFC fans.

    I’m not trying to rehash PRIDE vs UFC rhetoric here. But going back to 2003 I was saying Chuck is a counter puncher with a brutal looping left hook and a crushing right hand. The guys he was beating were straight forward fighters with no boxing defense. As soon as he runs into a guy with a good boxing guard that has mobility and can throw a straight punch he’ll lose. As soon as he fought Rampage in PRIDE that happened. It has now happened three times in the past two years and Jardine who just stayed mobile and threw the same punch kick combo for three rounds beat Liddell.”

    UFC LHW’s were the best in the world..

    Tito and Vitor both beat Wand,
    Babalu beat Shogun,
    Chuck KTFO Overeem and Guy

    This myth that Pride fanatics continue to try and spin about it is laughable. Chuck dominated his division but like all greats time caught up with him his reflexes declined and the younger guys time came that’s what happens in sports. Let’s leave out the bs and give props and respect to one of the greatest fighters in the sport at least for a day or two.

  9. Ultimo Santa says:

    Liddell should have a ‘legends fight’ against Couture, where the two old guys won’t manage to hurt each other too badly, and in the end, Goldberg can should “Both these men will be in the HALL OF FAME!”

    I don’t see Liddell KOing a Heavyweight fighter aside from Randy. Not Mir, Nogueira, and especially not Lesnar.

    And 45 (somewhat off-topic) – here is an idea to enhance the HW since it’s so weak in the UFC:

    Anderson Silva admits his natural weight is 220 lbs, why doesn’t he move up to Heavyweight? He doesn’t want to fight Machida (who will soon be LHW Champion), and he’s bored of the Middleweight division. Why not?

    Add Liddell and A.Silva to the mix and you’ve suddenly got a bunch of new HW match-ups.

    Leave MW to W.Silva, Bisping, Henderson and Maia, and put the title up for grabs in a tournament.

  10. Zack says:

    Yahoo Sports Noob fail:

    “Liddell was the first superstar of MMA, the first household name in the sport.”

  11. Mr. Roadblock says:

    EJ are you nuts?

    You are clearly a new fan who wasn’t watching then and you’re doing fighter math off of a fight finder.

    Shogun lost to babalu on his second night as a professional fighter. You have clearly never seen Tito’s “win” over Wandy. You probably think Kosaka beat Fedor too. Not to mention that by your logic Frank Shamrock would have been the best LHW in the world at that point.

  12. The Citizen says:

    I’ve never seen so many people retire someone before because Dana White says so. I wish some managers I’ve worked for in the past would have retired just by me saying they are finished — but if you think Chuck is done, think again. I hope he continues to fight, if that is what he chooses. No one has the right to make that decision for anyone.

  13. 45 Huddle says:

    Not a bad idea on having Anderson Silva moving up to Heavyweight. He would really struggle with the big guys of the division. He would probably still beat some of them.

    They are going to keep Anderson Silva at Middleweight for now. He wins once more, and he has the record for the most title defenses. I’m sure Dana White would love to take Tito Ortiz’s name off the record books for that one.

    In a way, the division would be much more exciting without Anderson Silva. Bisping, Henderson, Franklin, Maia, Marquardt, Okami, Akiyama, and perahps a few others. They all make great fights with each other. The problem is Silva, who while he is on top, actually makes the division seem not as important.

  14. robthom says:

    It all started downhill when he lost his rematch to jackson IMO.
    But that was chucks fault. He shouldn’t have gotten caught by jacksons 3rd grade level strategies this late in the game, definitely not the second time.

    I’m honestly thinking that chuck might not be terribly smart.
    I know hes got a college degree and all (if thats supposed to mean something), but the refusing to expand his style or training. His strategic blunder of frequently admitting openly that he doesn’t change. The mumbling and partying like he’s still 17.
    It seems like there where a series of ill conceived decisions helped bring this about.

    “Not to take anything away from Chuck, but his key wins were against handpicked opponents. UFC created a sphere in 2003-2005 ”

    Thats bullshit.
    You mean the sphere where they sent ricco and liddell to pride, which is what brought all the excitement and resulted in them trying to recapture that by having 1-2 GP’s every year after that?
    Or when ufc handpicked liddell and jackson to trounce each other first so they’d be easy pickings after vanderlei’s sparring session against yoshida?

    Which elite level 205 has fought more quality opponents, that weren’t “handpicked” in you opinion?

  15. Ultimo Santa says:

    If (according to many) Anderson IS the best in the world (P4P or not) I don’t see why he can’t just prove it without having to cut 30 lbs. and go down 2 weight classes. HW should be no problem for him if he’s statistically the same as Fedor.

    Fedor is 6’0, 230 lbs. and 32 years old.
    Silva is 6’2, 220 lbs. and 34 years old.

    I totally agree that the MW division is more exciting without him. Since Anderson has nothing left to prove, just boot him up to HW and make some dream matches. Or a LHW match vs. Quentin Jackson.

    *Anything* but what we’ve been seeing lately.

  16. Vicarious Atonement says:

    “…they would never see Liddell in his prime as he was for UFC 66, his last big win, when he beat Tito Ortiz by TKO. The event produced the highest live gate revenue in North American mixed martial arts history and is still the UFC’s biggest pay-per-view success to date with about 1 million buys.”

    Arash Markazi you suck. Firstly his last big win was at UFC 79 against Wanderlei Silva. Secondly the highest live gate in North America was actually UFC 97. And I’m pretty sure it’s been surpassed since 66 anyway if the numbers weren’t out in time for your article. Also is 66 still the biggest ppv success to date? I thought 92 was? Also you spelt Quinton wrong. To not know the name of one of the sports biggest stars is quite shameful and it sticks out like a sore thumb when it’s in bold and you still don’t realise it’s not Quentin. And all the other misinformation is shameful as welll, do some research if you’re a journalist next time. Jackass!

  17. Zack says:

    It’s crazy how bad the writers are at SI except for Gross. The woman who I believe is the editor of the MMA page is actually the worst of all of them. Sucks that they’re not at least having him fact check the stories.

  18. EJ says:

    EJ are you nuts?

    You are clearly a new fan who wasn’t watching then and you’re doing fighter math off of a fight finder.

    Shogun lost to babalu on his second night as a professional fighter. You have clearly never seen Tito’s “win” over Wandy. You probably think Kosaka beat Fedor too. Not to mention that by your logic Frank Shamrock would have been the best LHW in the world at that point.

    The only thing I was doing was debunking the myth people have started to throw around with Chuck. Secondly Wand lost to Tito and Shogun lost to Babalu it’s been years since that happened you can get over it.

  19. Mr.Roadblock says:

    Let me first say in case there is confusion: I really enjoy watching Chuck fight. I think he brings big fight atmosphere. He has been monumental in making MMA an acceptable sport in the U.S. You ccould say he is the Hulk Hogan of MMA.

    OK, let’s look at his title run. He beat Randy Couture to become champ in April 2005. He then fought Jeremy Horn (go ahead, defend that as a loss avenged and embarass yourself). Then he fought Randy again his first real defense and won. Then he fought Babalu for a second time. If you guys recall there was discussion as to how much Babalu deserved that fight. Yes Babalu rattle off a bunch of wins (including one over a 20-year-old Shogun who nobody outside of Brazil knew back then). Next Chuck fought Tito a second time and then lost to Rampage.

    Chuck’s tiem as champ was more style than substance. Admit it. He made MMA popular, he’s a great ambassador for the sport. He’s not a great champion. Plain and simple. All the guys he beat were grapplers who come straight forward looking for a takedown. That is the kind of guy Chuck has a hightlight reel KO against. Anyone with lateral movement gives him fits. Anyone with adequate boxing defense avoids his telegraphed looping punches. Wanderlei is tailor made for him too.

    Shogun dropped Chuck with a lead left hook. A lead left hook. If you know boxing you know that’s liek saying, “a unicorn ran him over”. You shouldn’t be able to land a lead left hook. The only guy who can do that is Floyd and he’s almost as fast as the speed of light. The next closest guy to doing that is Manny Paq with his lunging lead jab/uppercut hybrid punch.

    Also the two guys who’ve attacked my opinoin on here must not remember Chuck’s reputation before the first fight with Babalu on the Tito/Ken undercard. That rep was as a charismatic guy who couldn’t finish fights.

    But anyway. Don’t let facts get in the way of an attack or an opinion, I guess.

    I do hope Chuck fights again and I’m pretty sure he will.

    PS: EJ, just admit you’re wrong about your fighter math. Try to find the Wandy/Tito fight. It’s the definition of lay and pray. Wandy lands the only effective punches in the fight. I know for a fact you’ve never seen IFC Global Domination where a 20-year-old Shogun gets choked out in the second round of the tournament after a hard first fight by Babalu. For all you guys who want to discount the PRIDE Tourneys when it suits I guess Shogun losing in an unsanctioned tournament is OK.

  20. Steve says:

    You really think Chuck’s decision over a washed up Silva was his last “big” win? After two losses, it might have shown he wasn’t as washed up as Silva at the time but when I think of Liddell I think of main events and TKOs and the night he beat Ortiz was the last time that ever happened. That’s the Chuck I’ll always remember. By the way, UFC 66 with a live gate of almost $5.4 million and a buyrate of just over 1 million pay-per-views is still the most successful UFC event ever. Montreal did about a $4.9 million live gate and I’d expect the PPV number to be around half a million. I think you might have live gate and attendance mixed up.

  21. Zack says:

    Wand was a HUGE win for Chuck, in fact I think it’s the best he’s ever looked. That was a career fight for him. Wand & Chucks careers mirrored each other in a lot of ways ironically ever since they fought on the same night on an IVC card way back in the day. In my opinion, that fight was the apex of Chuck’s career and probably the most important one to him ever. Of course, I’ve never asked him and I could be completely off base.

    It just seemed like he was so on point in that fight, and Wand didn’t look bad or shot either…and it seemed like Chuck maybe emotionally shut down a bit after it. I chock it up the same as Cro Cop finally winning a tournament. I know everyone nowadays loves to brush off Cro Cop but dude was fighting in K1 since the 90’s and never won a tourney, although he did make it to the finals once. In 2004 he got upset in the first round of a tourney where everyone expect him and Fedor in the finals. The Cro Cop that showed up in the last round of the ’06 Pride tourney would’ve beaten ANYONE on that night. Dude was on another level and was not to be touched. He was SUPER emotional after the win too. And like Chuck, I think that was the apex of his career and mentally he shut down a little bit after that.

    Nothing wrong with it…Chuck and Cro Cop are both legends and their legacy has already been cemented.

  22. Zack says:

    Just wanted to add: Mr Roadblock knows what he’s talking about. That tourney was awesome. I thought Horn would’ve won without the point deduction. It was also a rare domestic Marquart appearance for the time, and Ryan Bennet & Jens Pulver were great on commentary (Big Papa, not so much.) Didn’t the Maloof brothers finance the card?

  23. Steve says:

    Zack, I don’t think Chuck was at the apex of his career when he was coming off two losses and followed up his decision win over Silva with two more losses. I think he was at the apex when he won seven straight fights including the UFC light heavyweight title from 2004-2006. I also don’t think that Silva fight was the best he’s ever looked and wouldn’t classify it as a career fight for him. If Chuck’s career is indeed over (and it should be) and I took a pole asking for his one shining moment, the high water mark of his career, I don’t think his decision win over Silva would be in the mix.

  24. Ivan Trembow says:

    What a classless move by Liddell’s co-trainer for the Shogun fight, Howard Davis Jr., to publicly throw Liddell under the bus like he has.

  25. Mike Rome says:

    Huh? He didn’t do anything of the sort. Did you listen to the audio at all? He said he fell into bad habits, but spent the entire interview praising his work ethic.

    The outrage police strike again.

  26. Vicarious Atonement says:

    Yes Steve I have got them mixed up sorry. I mean I\’m only a lowly commenter on Fight Opinion so I should be forgiven haha, I didn’t bother to double check so I apologize for that. But despite that there’s still a lot of inaccuracies in that piece. When it’s your job and you get paid to write on a subject for a giant such as SI, you should firstly know what you’re talking about, double check, triple check that there’s no inaccuracies and then you likely send it to an editor who will also check it over. To go through all that and still get lots wrong is just no good.

  27. Alan Conceicao says:

    There is some definite accuracy to what Roadblock says here, though I do disagree about the UFC light heavyweights being inferior to their PRIDE brethren.

    Chuck’s fights with Busta and Suloev were ghastly, as smaller guys with mediocre striking were able to extend him the distance and make him look ugly. Busta was never a world class kickboxer either, but staying on the outside, using lateral movement, and throwing low kicks, he was very competitive with Liddell. Liddell also grew the reputation of failing on the big stage: He was a big favorite against Couture in the first fight and choked (remember the ICEMAN Tapout entrance?). Dana threw $100,000 behind him on the sportsbooks for the PRIDE MW GP of 2003 and, well, that didn’t go well. Upon returning, yup, exactly as Roadblock says: Lots of straight forward wrestlers. Only guy who wasn’t was Vernon White, who was taken out with the infamous eyepoke of doom.

    As far as the UFC guys being inferior to the PRIDE fighters, I had Tito winning 4 rounds of the 5 rounder with Silva. Silva landed the occasional nice shot but otherwise got laid on, and it was a blueprint Arona copied years later to success. Tito then reeled off a bunch of wins against crappy fighters, but so did Silva, actually. Retrospect is 20/20: Silva fought Sakuraba again because people demanded that fight, and we now know that Saku was hopelessly outmatched. Tito fought Shamrock because people demanded that fight, and we now know that Shammy was hopelessly outmatched.

  28. Vicarious Atonement says:

    Also calling Wanderlei Silva “washed up” is a bit harsh. I mean he wasn’t truly considered “washed up” until after the third rampage fight. Which was a year after the Liddell fight. So that’s a bit unfair. I mean of course he was coming into the Liddell fight with 2 losses but even still those losses were against elite competition. Can hardly blame him for that.

    He lost to Dan Henderson (nothing to be ashamed of there) and a in his prime Mirko Cro Cop (who being a Heavyweight put Silva at a huge disadvantage) so that can’t really be held against him. Though both losses were knockouts so some people thought he may be done, but he and Liddell had a absolute war that redeemed both fighters in the eyes of many. No one was calling either washed up after that fight.

    Then Silva of course destroyed Keith Jardine in 36 seconds. Say what you will about Jardine, he might be inconsistent and will always have the Alexander fight held against him or be accused of having a “glass jaw” but still he is a very tough fighter, he proved that in his last fight did he not and his wins over Liddell and Griffin as well. In fact a lot of people at the time were picking Jardine to win and saying he should get a title shot with one, then Silva destroyed him. Hardly the performance of a washed up fighter. After that fight I remember a lot of people saying “Wanderlei is back!”

    And then there was the fight with Rampage, going in the majority of fans were actually picking Silva to win because of his dominant performance against Jardine and his previous destructions of Rampage. He wasn’t considered “washed up” going into that fight. And that’s a year after Liddell’s win over him.

    Also I’m still not convinced he’s totally “washed up” yet. I still think there’s some life left in the old dog (who’s only 32). Let’s see what he can do against Franklin and in the Middleweight division till we decide what he is or isn‘t, when he starts losing to the likes of Robert Berry then we can probably decipher.

    So lets not totally write off Liddell’s win against him. It’s so easy to look back and go “oh he’s washed up now so that means he was washed up then.” But that wasn’t the case at all and still might not be.

  29. Alan Conceicao says:

    Wanderlei is clearly not a dominant fighter right now. For all the talk about MMA being “unpredictable”, there’s pretty clearly a pattern going on. He had been KOed cleanly only once in his career prior to 2006. Since then? 3 KO losses, the last one being really ugly. He might be 32, but he’s been fighting as a professional 13 years in vale tudo style bouts, and I’m fairly sure he had some muay thai fights in Brazil long, long ago.

  30. Steve says:

    Good points on Silva, I guess I was just down on him after those two straight losses and didn’t think he was anywhere near the fighter he was afterwards. I didn’t think the decision over Silva was as big as it would have been a couple years earlier when both were in their prime. Sort of like Liddell-Shogun, which would have been an amazing fight three years ago. I didn’t see anything wrong with the SI article besides a missing letter in Quinton’s name, which is terrible but it’s the web not the mag and I doubt as many eyes look over those stories as we think, unfortunatley. I only read Gross there anyway.

  31. Ivan Trembow says:

    Here is the entire text that was posted on BloodyElbow.com underneath the Howard Davis, Jr. interview:

    “Chuck has been doing this for 16, 17 years… and I guess the old saying is, it’s very hard to train an old dog to do new tricks.” — Howard Davis Jr.”

  32. EJ says:

    April 20th, 2009 at 9:21 pm Mr.Roadblock Says:

    “Let me first say in case there is confusion: I really enjoy watching Chuck fight. I think he brings big fight atmosphere. He has been monumental in making MMA an acceptable sport in the U.S. You ccould say he is the Hulk Hogan of MMA.

    OK, let’s look at his title run. He beat Randy Couture to become champ in April 2005. He then fought Jeremy Horn (go ahead, defend that as a loss avenged and embarass yourself). Then he fought Randy again his first real defense and won. Then he fought Babalu for a second time. If you guys recall there was discussion as to how much Babalu deserved that fight. Yes Babalu rattle off a bunch of wins (including one over a 20-year-old Shogun who nobody outside of Brazil knew back then). Next Chuck fought Tito a second time and then lost to Rampage.”

    Thank you for proving my point right from the start the idea that you would put down the Horn fight in which many hardcore fans had his as the favorite. Just goes to show that the Liddell haters really are full of crap and their opinions are biased as hell.

    “Chuck’s tiem as champ was more style than substance. Admit it. He made MMA popular, he’s a great ambassador for the sport. He’s not a great champion. Plain and simple. All the guys he beat were grapplers who come straight forward looking for a takedown. That is the kind of guy Chuck has a hightlight reel KO against. Anyone with lateral movement gives him fits. Anyone with adequate boxing defense avoids his telegraphed looping punches. Wanderlei is tailor made for him too.”

    All of these grapplers have beaten a whos who list of fighters including the supposed superior Pride fighters but let’s not let facts get in the way of a nice story.

    “Shogun dropped Chuck with a lead left hook. A lead left hook. If you know boxing you know that’s liek saying, “a unicorn ran him over”. You shouldn’t be able to land a lead left hook. The only guy who can do that is Floyd and he’s almost as fast as the speed of light. The next closest guy to doing that is Manny Paq with his lunging lead jab/uppercut hybrid punch.”

    Thanks for the fight recap btw that added so much to this conversation it’s amazing. I’ll ignore the thought of me pointing out how Shogun broke his arm because he didn’t know how to stop an old washed up Coleman’s takedown.

    “Also the two guys who’ve attacked my opinoin on here must not remember Chuck’s reputation before the first fight with Babalu on the Tito/Ken undercard. That rep was as a charismatic guy who couldn’t finish fights.”

    Again what this add’s to the conversation is beyond me but whatever Chuck’s reputation was definately changed after that night didn’t it?.

    “But anyway. Don’t let facts get in the way of an attack or an opinion, I guess.

    I do hope Chuck fights again and I’m pretty sure he will.

    PS: EJ, just admit you’re wrong about your fighter math. Try to find the Wandy/Tito fight. It’s the definition of lay and pray. Wandy lands the only effective punches in the fight. I know for a fact you’ve never seen IFC Global Domination where a 20-year-old Shogun gets choked out in the second round of the tournament after a hard first fight by Babalu. For all you guys who want to discount the PRIDE Tourneys when it suits I guess Shogun losing in an unsanctioned tournament is OK.”

    Thank you again for probing another of my points about Pride fans, the idea that you know or have seen more mma fights than me is laughable. Go back to watching your beloved Pride videos were guys were invincible before the came to the UFC and that myth was busted.

  33. Mike Rome says:

    Ivan, you may want to actually listen to the audio before jumping to the baseline outrage position.

  34. Mr.Roadblock says:

    EJ:

    I’m not making a PRIDE vs UFC argument. For the record I love MMA. I watch and support UFC, PRIDE (when it was arround), Elite (when it was around), Affliction and Strikeforce. I really wanted IFL to do well, but didn’t care much for that organization once it got going.

    I’m making an argument about Chuck Liddell fighting handpicked opponents to look good and get his name built up. That’s what his rep is built on. He’s a star because of the 2 Babalu fights, 3 Randy Fights, 2 Tito fights, the Horn rematch as champ, and the Tiger White fight.

    You can make the same argument about Wanderlei Silva in PRIDE. PRIDE built him up as a star by having him fight grapplers that ran straight forward at him and who in most cases weighed 10-20 pounds less than he did. I for one didn’t think Wanderlei was the best 205’er in PRIDE.

    My point about Chuck is that he’s a limited fighter. Suloev, Busta, Vitor, Overeem until he got caught and Rampage all gave him fits with lateral movement and modest boxing defense in his prime. When Chuck came back from Japan where PRIDE booked him vs Overeem (PRIDE for sure thought Overeem would embarass UFC) and Dana got the book he never put Chuck in there with a legit striker. Yes he booked Tiger White, but I’m sure Dana thought White was way over the hill (he was though he still gave Chuck fits before Chuck damn near blinded him). Even in the second Tito fight, Tito stays on the outside and Chuck had no answer for it. To that end, Randy slipped on a canvas advertisement in their third fight, he too was staying outside and Chuck couldn’t get near him or strike effectively.

    People talk about Chuck as being a great striker. So yes my analysis of how he got dropped with a lead left hook is very pertinent to this discussion. You should not ever get caught with a lead left hook. In part because no one should ever throw one because the guy throwing it should fear the recipient’s ability enough to know that while he is throwing the hook the opponent can throw a straight right which will get to the target (guy throwing a lead left’s jaw) first. This is obviously in a case of two like handed fighters. An orthodox can lead with a hook vs a southpaw and vice versa.

    Also in the second Jackson fight Chuck throws a body shot from the outside. Another a cardinal sin in boxing. He got KO’d for that.

    Here’s my point about 205lb fighters from 2003-PRIDE acquisition.

    The best overall guy was Shogun.

    Liddell, Tito and Randy all fought in what ammounted to a closed round robin and were hyped up more than their abbilites in the Octagon warranted.

    Wanderlei also was hyped up more than he was warranted. I’m of the opinion that Rampage got screwed by the ref in the first Wanderlei fight and Rampage should have won.

    Shogun wrecked Rampage and coupled with the way he dispatched Arona that made him the second best.

    I’d say Arona and Wanderlei were very equal fighter in the round robin system that PRIDE had. I think if you took those guys and mixed them in with Randy, Tito and Chuck everyone would all be pretty equal. So I’m not saying PRIDE was way better than UFC. Though I do think PRIDE had more good fighters numbers wise at the weight. Lil Nog would have beat Tito in my opinion and had good fights w/ Randy and Chuck.

    Rampage vs Randy was a fight I badly wanted to see back then. I think Rampage/Tito, Arona/Chuck, Tito/Arona, and Wanerlei/Tito II would have been great fights. I think Randy at that point in time would have dominated Wanderlei in the cage, but if he got caught with a punch who knows.

    This post is becoming kind of a tangent. Sorry. Just trying to prove I wasn’t making a UFC vs PRIDE post. My point is that “Styles Make Fights”. Dana who is a brilliant promoter made the fights for his most marketable guy that made his most marketable guy win. Until he ran out of ways to protect Chuck and had to put him in there with Rampage.

    I bet if Dana White met a Genie in a Bottle he’d wish Forrest beat Jardine and could have been Chuck’s opponent for the most media covered fight in UFC history and had Jackson waiting for the winner to get one more big event out of Chuck as champ. But it didn’t go down that way.

  35. EJ says:

    Fine let’s leave out Pride vs. UFC, the idea that Chuck fought handpicked opponents isn’t just false it’s a slap in the face to top fighters like Tito, Couture and Babalu.

    They’ve beaten tons of top fighters and Randy had already beaten Chuck and was the favorite in both rematches. Babalu is one of the most underated LHW’s ever and a guy who is still in his prime today and Tito was the most dominant champion the UFC had before Chuck.

    The myth about Chuck having trouble with strikers is also just that, funny how having trouble with hard hitters like Overeem and Metzger is something to feel bad about. When he KTFO both men viciously but beaten several other strikers and overall has had more trouble with guys with good wrestling bases than pure strikers like Vitor and Pele.

    You can also put all of the qualifiers in his dominant wins that you want but they again just show your bias. Simply put Chuck’s resume speaks for itself leave out the excuses because I can make them all day to defend his losses but I don’t because that’s weak.

    I also get that you like Shogun but let’s face it he hasn’t been the same since he got his arm broken by Coleman. Maybe this will be the thing that gets him back in his prime or he could go out and get beat up again by a Tuffer let’s not go crazy with the annointing of Rua after 1 big win.

  36. robthom says:

    “April 21st, 2009 at 3:18 pm r.Roadblock Says: EJ: I’m not making a PRIDE vs UFC argument. For the record I love MMA. I watch and support UFC, PRIDE (when it was …”

    Dude, bring it down a notch.
    If you cant make a point in 3 sentences you not making a point!

  37. Ivan Trembow says:

    Mr. Roadblock— I don’t think Liddell in his prime was a “limited fighter,” and it really is a slap in the face to fighters like Couture, Ortiz, and Sobral to say that he was always protected. I think part of what happened was age, and part of what happened was Keith Jardine and Rashad Evans demonstrating a sort of blueprint for everyone to use on what gameplan to use to beat Liddell in the stand-up. Of course, I don’t know if that same blueprint would have worked against Liddell a few years earlier.

  38. Dave2 says:

    Couture, Ortiz and Babalu are top fighters but note that they are all grapplers and Chuck is very strong against grapplers. Good, technical strikers are Chuck’s weakness.

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