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Morning Report: Chuck Liddell’s trainer on possible comeback: ‘It would depend on the opponent’

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Chuck Liddell Photos

In MMA, it’s a rarity that legendary fighters stick to their first retirements. Randy Couture came out of retirement to win the UFC heavyweight title once upon a time. Tito Ortiz retired after losing to Forrest Griffin a second time, only to return to the sport two years later for Bellator. Even Georges St-Pierre, one of the savviest and most self-aware fighters ever to grace the octagon couldn’t resist the pull of the cage and will be returning later this year. So it should come as no surprise to anyone that a man who practically had to be dragged away from fighting by Dana White, former light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell, is possibly thinking about a return.

Rumors started about a potential Liddell resurgence when his longtime friend Jay Glazer posted a video to Instagram showing Liddell working some vicious elbow strikes in the gym.

Talk then began picking up when Liddell posted a photo to Instagram showing himself in phenomenal shape, and arguably looking better than he did during much of his career.

In deep thought

A post shared by Chuck Liddell (@chuckliddell) on

And while Liddell has remained silent about a possible return, his trainer John Hackleman did talk about the subject on the latest edition of the Anik and Florian podcast. Hackleman said that while nothing has been offered, if Liddell approached him about returning, he would consider training “The Iceman” for another bout so long as it was the right opponent.

“Just like when they first wanted him to quit and he wanted to keep fighting, everybody was thinking I was trying to push him to keep fighting, which isn’t true. But like I always said, it’s whatever is in his heart. 3 million bucks? Who is gonna tell someone, ‘No. I’m not gonna allow you to make $3 million, which is more than most people make in three lifetimes.’

“It would all depend upon - this sounds so bad. Seriously, the people who know me know what a terrible mother hen I am when it comes to matching my fighters, but it would depend on the match. It would all depend on the match. I’m not gonna name who I would let him fight - well, it’s not up to me to let him fight or not - but who I would okay and who I wouldn’t.”

Liddell is 47 years old and hasn’t competed since June of 2010. He retired after losing 5 of his last six bouts, 4 of them by vicious knockout. And though Hackleman admits Liddell is his own man, he believes that even a lofty payday wouldn’t be worth it for Liddell to return unless the opponent was reasonable.

“But even $3 million, I don’t think that would be enough to put his life at risk and his legacy at risk. Because his legacy, not only for his own self-esteem but his legacy for his future earnings as well, could be worth a hell of a lot more than $3 million and tarnishing it to a certain degree, that might not be worth it. So it would all depend on the opponent.”

Perhaps it’s time to see the Iceman cometh back.


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With Vitor about to retire, maybe Liddell can join the legends league and throw overhand rights at Tito one more time. But seriously, I would assume Chuck is just training to train and not thinking about returning, but if there was one guy in MMA history who would try and make a comeback after 7 years off, it’s gotta be him right?

Anyway, enjoy your Tuesday’s MMArmy and we’ll be back tomorrow. Take it easy and Conor bless.

If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting because we post dope things and you should enjoy it.

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