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Jim Rome Says Anderson Silva Would Crush Chuck Liddell; Does Anyone Disagree?

After Chuck Liddell lost to Rashad Evans at UFC 88, I wrote a post outlining where Liddell's career might go next. I got a lot of feedback on that, with comments here at FanHouse, e-mails from readers and other sites linking to it, and I didn't hear from anyone who took issue with my statement that Anderson Silva "would absolutely destroy Liddell."

So I've been surprised by how many people in the mixed martial arts community seem to be upset with ESPN's Jim Rome for saying essentially the same thing on Jim Rome Is Burning.

Here's what Rome said:

There's now speculation that Liddell will try to get his cred back by challenging Anderson Silva. Chuck, my man, if you got any sense and you don't want to end up nose flat on the mat, you'd be wise to stay as far away from The Spider as possible."

That pretty well reflects what every UFC fan I know thinks: Sure, we'd pay to see a Liddell-Silva fight, but we'd go into it thinking we were about to witness Liddell taking a serious beat-down.

And yet plenty of people are taking issue with Rome, even going so far as to call him "a f---ing d--- head. We don't need that s--- in MMA. It's tough enough for these guys to take a loss like that, the last thing they need is some s-- head like Rome rubbing it in their face."

But I'm with Brent Brookhouse at Bloody Elbow: Why shouldn't the sports media scrutinize a UFC fighter after a bad loss? Why shouldn't Rome offer a candid assessment of what he thinks would happen if Liddell fights Silva?

Furthermore, it's interesting that no one criticizing Rome is actually disagreeing with what he said: Does anyone want to go on the record as predicting Liddell to beat Silva, should they fight some day?

I've noted before that Rome is well-prepared and knowledgeable about MMA, and it's great that a high-profile media person like Rome covers the sport as much as he does. Rome got it right, and if there's anyone who can't handle a legitimate critique of Liddell, that's their problem.