(Go ahead. Tell Chuck you forgot to order the ice cream cake for his birthday party. I’m sure he’ll understand.)
As Chuck Liddell prepares to try and prove to Dana White and the rest of the MMA world that he still belongs in the UFC, some recent comments seem to suggest that he maybe he has suffered serious head trauma after all. Regarding his goal to take back the UFC light heavyweight strap, Liddell told Fighters Only:
“I don’t plan on letting [Rashad Evans] stay champ for long. I thought I was winning that fight. I made a mistake, got caught and dropped. I was winning the fight up until then. People ask me about retiring after that fight. It wasn’t like I got my ass kicked and then got knocked out. I was winning the fight, got sloppy for a second and got caught. I made a mistake.”
[Sigh] I can’t help but feel like he’s using the old ‘got caught’ explanation as a crutch here. Yes, he got caught in the sense that he left himself wide open and was absolutely hammered by a right hand from Evans. But he wasn’t really winning the fight up until then. He wasn’t losing, either. The fight was fairly even with little significant action. And then he got knocked out.
I’d be willing to give Liddell the benefit of the doubt if we weren’t talking about a guy who is 1-3 in his last four fights with lone win coming via decision against Silva, who is 1-4 in his last five fights. Now Liddell is looking like he might be at the end of an illustrious career, fighting a “Shogun” Rua who is also nearing his last stop (if he can’t turn things around), just to see who gets to stick around a little while longer.
That doesn’t sound to me like a guy who is at all close to a title shot against Rashad Evans. He’ll have to win a few fights first, and the way the UFC’s light heavyweight division is, who knows who the champion will be by then.
Amazingly, Liddell seems completely unaware of any of this. To him, Evans is walking around on borrowed time wearing his belt. Maybe that’s the world you need to live in to be Chuck Liddell these days, even if it’s not a very realistic one.