When Chuck Liddell returned to the cage for Golden Boy MMA’s inaugural event, it was at the age of 48 after an eight-year layoff. Many were concerned about Liddell returning to the cage after so many years - especially given the string of KO losses he suffered before being essentially forced into retirement - but he was facing Tito Ortiz, a man he had twice dominated without issue. It didn’t matter. Liddell was unable to rekindle the magic of his Hall of Fame career and was dispatched brutally with punches in the first round. It was a thoroughly disappointing outcome for Liddell but, according to longtime UFC commentator Joe Rogan, he reaped what he sowed.
On a recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience MMA Show, Rogan discussed Liddell’s comeback and fighting style, saying that what once made him so dangerous and likeable, became a huge liability as time wore on.
“He had a style that was incredibly effective back in the day and I think he became married to that approach,” Rogan said. “He was just a marauder. You could hit him the face with a f*cking crowbar and he would just spit metal out. He didn’t give a sh*t. He was so badass back in the day. That style, there comes a certain point in time where you just can’t do that anymore.”
“There’s a right way to fight and a wrong way to fight and one of the things about seeing Chuck go out on his shield like that, it’s like, this is the bed he made. This is his style.”
Liddell was one of the premier strikers in the middle stages of MMA, if not in technical acumen then certainly in results. He carried his hands low, near his waist, inviting punches in that he would then counter with looping shots from awkward angles. That style carried Liddell to the heights of MMA, winning him the UFC light heavyweight title in 2005. It also got him into a fair bit of trouble during his career as well, suffering losses to Quinton Jackson and Randy Couture just before going on the signature run of his career. But as time caught up with Liddell, all the punches he absorbed seem to as well, with “The Iceman” being knocked out in four of his final six fights in the UFC. Liddell’s return saw more of the same and Rogan hopes young fighters take a lesson from watching the ignominious end to one of the greatest careers in the history of MMA.
“When you see Chuck go out on his shield, something about it to me, I don’t like seeing it,” Rogan said. “I definitely would’ve liked it if he didn’t get knocked out again. But one thing I would like young fighters to see is there’s consequences to choices in terms of how you approach these exchanges and how you fight. I’m of the belief that you should fight the correct way.”
“Don’t fight the way that pleases your boss or the crowd. Fight the way you’re supposed too with your skills, and win by knockout when you can. But don’t get knocked out because you’re trying to win by knockout and you overextending yourself and overexposing yourself. That’s not wise. I think part of fighting has to be wise.”
Prior to his third fight with Ortiz, Liddell said that he intended Tito to be a warmup fight, and that he would be returning to active competition. He also said that if he lost to Ortiz, then he would have no business coming back. After the fight he was less committal, saying that he wouldn’t think about retiring just yet.
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Tito is worse at retiring than he is at talking. Also, LOL to the results.
Well it looks like I get to shut that loud mouth up again! This time it will be with punches!!! I wouldn’t need to come out of retirement for this one. Your mouth wrote a check that your ass can’t cash!— Tito Ortiz (@titoortiz) December 5, 2018
Still here, still ready to go!! I'll donate half my purse to childrens charity, in case you needed another reason @danawhite . Where are the Fertittas when you need them, they always respected and rewarded the true fighter!!— Artem Lobov (@RusHammerMMA) December 5, 2018
This is the championship fight the MMA insiders wanted. This is the fighters fight card. This is where HISTORY will be made. You gonna choose to be part of it? Order PPV: https://t.co/HPhi6Wskca @ufc @ufc_ca #ufc231 https://t.co/JRuh1a7bud— Max Holloway (@BlessedMMA) December 4, 2018
AMEN, JOSH THOMSON.
He's (Greg Hardy) is making his @ufc debut on the same card as Rachel Ostovich who was recently a victim of domestic violence. Not sure they (UFC) thought this one through. Just my $.02 https://t.co/4ueDxPSfPF— Josh Thomson (@THEREALPUNK) December 5, 2018
Joe B doing his best.
Let's go joe— Tim Elliott (@TElliott125) December 4, 2018
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“Solid Craftsmanship” When You Have The Right Tools & Know How To Improvise Anything Is Possible. It Took A Whole Bunch Of No’s, Copycats & Fakes To Show Me The Way How Not To Do Things I Worked At My Ideas Consistently ‘Til I Made Them A Reality. Thus, “My Design” pic.twitter.com/CsZanVYxUD— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) December 5, 2018
Still trying to make it happen.
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