11.06.2008

Is Liddell Still Relevant In the Title Picture?


Another post I put on FightTicker.com today - I found this article on Yahoo: Sports -a sort of profile of Chuck Liddell after his devastating KO loss to Rashad Evans.

As you'll see after the jump, I don't think Liddell should be written out of the picture just yet.

From Yahoo:Sports:

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell is fighting a battle of meaning in the public eye: can one punch change everything?

Liddell, 38, built his reputation giving and taking punches. From 2004 to 2006, he cleaned out the sport’s marquee division, collecting wins against stars like Randy Couture and Tito Ortiz, who, like him, built the foundation for the UFC’s explosion in popularity.

But a new guard has encroached upon Liddell’s legacy, and chinks have begun to appear in his armor. Spearheaded by the minds at Jackson’s Submission Academy in Albuquerque, N.M., Liddell has lost to three out of his last four opponents, and his light heavyweight title to Quinton Jackson at UFC 71.

A spectacular knockout loss to Rashad Evans at UFC 88 brought the subject of retirement into sharp focus. After the fight, Liddell said he’d decide in the gym, not in the pressroom, whether to hang up his four-ounce gloves.


I think the most relevant thing Liddell had to say was this:

“I have one fight I get caught, and all of a sudden my striking is no good?” Liddell poses. “That’s kind of how you guys feel in the sport. You media guys, (if) you lose a fight – nobody was saying that when I beat Wanderlei (Silva). Nobody was talking about how my striking was overrated. Now eight months later, I lose a fight, and my striking is no good.”

I think this is very true. Yes, Liddell's style can be predictable, and he obviously suffered from this deficit in the Rashad fight - however, I think he's right - nobody was talking like this when he beat Silva.

A fight against another Silva - Anderson - could definitely show people if he's been working on his overall game. He's got decent kickboxing, and he can definitely wrestle, he's just been relying too much on his bread and butter - the counter punching and power punching.

I think Liddell is still relevant in the title picture, but his next fight could certainly determine how relevant, and a win over Silva would definitely send his stock back up. Silva has never fought a guy like Liddell, and Liddell has never fought a guy like Silva. Ultimately I think Silva would come out on top, but I think Liddell has the potential to take Silva to the third round, and legitimately, unlike Cote.

-PreView

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