by: Kelvin Hunt
I know I know…Liddell kills wrestlers and the prove is in the pudding. Randy Couture and Tito Ortiz both succumbed to ass whippings twice, as did Kevin Randleman. However, there are several factors that could possibly alter the outcome that we have become all to familiar with in this regard. First let’s take a look at Rashad Evans and what he brings to the table in comparison to the other wrestlers Liddell has faced.
Rashad brings a decent chin, adequate standup game, questionable stamina, but is a much better athlete than Couture or Ortiz. I think the X-factor for Evans will be his stamina. If he comes into this fight in shape, I think his chances of winning go up dramatically. Now let’s take a look some of the factors that could affect the outcome of this fight:
* Liddell hasn’t fought in what will be 9 months
* Liddell is coming into this fight while tearing his hamstring just a few months earlier
* Evans will have had about 4-5 months to prepare for this one fight(since it was canceled in June)
* Liddell hasn’t KO’d anyone since Tito Ortiz at UFC 66 (December 06′)
* Evan’s training partner(Keith Jardine) has a win over Liddell
* Evan’s trainer (Greg Jackson) is great at developing gameplans
* Liddell is now 38 years old
All of those factors are in Rashad Evan’s favor. Will Liddell be able to sprawl as well as usual with the previous hamstring injury? Has that injury affected his ability to do the same amount of cardio training as he usually does? Will his timing suffer from the 9 month lay off?
I think Evans could be a great fighter if he would use all of the tools he has at his disposal. However, at times he has a tendency let his opponents dictate the pace of the fight. If he allows Liddell to work his angles and gauge the distance correctly, he could end up as a statistic just like all the other wrestlers Liddell has faced. The beauty of MMA is that we’ll know the answer in just a couple of weeks.