“[This] might be the last time you ever see Chuck Liddell fight live or on television; the legend, the Iceman, the man who helped build mixed martial arts.” That was UFC President Dana White’s answer Thursday to radio show host, Carmichael Dave, when he asked White if there was anything he wanted to say to the fans about UFC 97, which takes place this Saturday night, April 18th in Montreal.
After hearing those sad words, Dave replied, “Jesus, you really want to say that?” “Yes. He’s one of my best friends, but this could be it. He helped build this business, but this might be his last fight ever,” said the UFC President.
Chuck Liddell is the favorite to win his fight against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua tomorrow night, according to the odds on BetUS.com. They have Liddell at -200 and “Shogun” at +150.
However, odds will not block a punch nor stop a head kick. Odds are based on probabilities and nothing is guaranteed inside the cage.
From the outside looking in, Liddell appears as the quintessential “Iceman;” ever cool, always calm. By his demeanor in recent interviews, one might think Liddell was defending his title for the third or fourth time. He almost always gives the same answers, always has. He wants to win, he trained hard, he wants to knock the guy out, and he still feels he can beat anyone.
He has heard the so-called ultimatum from the President. He is not fazed.
Liddell is 39-years-old and his record sits at 21-6 with 13 (T)KO’s. Shogun is 27-years-old and is 17-3 with 14(T)KO’s. Could Liddell tie “Shogun’s” knockout record with his own KO? If “Shogun” comes in the same way he did against Coleman, it is a wrap and “The Iceman” is back.
However, if Liddell has not made the correct adjustments in the last few months, something goes wrong, and he is a split second behind, it really could be the end of an era and a damn sad day for mixed martial arts fans around the world.