(Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated.)
Chuck Liddell isn’t the easiest man to get on the phone. But our buddy Ben Zeidler pinned him down yesterday for a wide-ranging discussion on his impending title shot, Dana White’s trustworthiness, money, and tonight’s UFC 88 fight against Rashad Evans. (Quick prediction: “I’m gonna knock him out.”) So without further ado…
CAGEPOTATO: What’s the plan for Rashad Evans?
CHUCK LIDDELL: I’m gonna punch him until he falls down and then I’m gonna punch him a few more times until they stop me. Can’t give you more of a gameplan than that. Simple.
Can you handle Rashad’s wrestling? You wrestled at San Luis Obispo, but Evans is one of the top wrestlers in the sport.
I mean, that’s definitely one of his strengths and you have to worry about it, but you know, I was a Division I wrestler myself so I can handle him.
What do you see happening if the fight goes to the ground? Will you stay there or try to stand back up?
I’ll try to stand back up. The plan is to get back to the feet and make him work to keep me down. No matter where the fight is, he’ll have to work.
What from your strategy will you bring in from the Wanderlei fight and what will you leave out?
I’ll probably use just about everything.
Yeah, we saw the spinning backfist in the Wanderlei fight. Where did that come from?
I hadn’t used that in a while, but I had been practicing it in the gym. I got in the fight and I got loose and a little more focused, but I was still having fun with it. So I tried it and it worked. If you can go out and have fun with the fight, it’s easier to use those moves.
Is it easier to train when you’re not the champion? Do you have more distractions when you have the belt?
For me, I don’t think it makes a difference. Anyway you look at it, if you have the belt or not, there are a bunch of distractions.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I can tell you that I’m hoping to fight for another 2-4 years. Hopefully, in two years, I’ll be saying I have another 2-4 in me. It all depends on my body. But if I’m not fighting, I’ll definitely be coaching, so either way, I’ll be in the fight game.
Do you trust Dana White?