By Cory Cropper (@CoryJCropper693)
“Chuck ‘the Iceman’ Liddell is back!”
Is it possible we may be hearing this from Mike Goldberg on a UFC broadcast soon?
Saturday, Chuck Liddell’s longtime trainer John Hackleman posted a picture to his personal Instagram account of the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion hitting a heavy bag. The photo featured a caption that read “Someone’s back in training…hmmmm.”
Do I think Liddell is gearing up for another comeback? Absolutely not.
Chuck Liddell was one of major contributor to their solid spot Spike TV and pay-per-view in the mid-tolate 2000’s. Epic encounters with Randy Couture and Tito Ortiz, highlight reel knockouts, among other things, made ‘The Iceman’ the face of the UFC.
However, there’s absolutely no reason Chuck Liddell would need to make a comeback.
Say Liddell is prepping for one last run, who in this day and age in the light heavyweight division would Chuck compete with?
‘The Iceman’ will always have a puncher’s chance, but with the top light heavyweights today, I don’t find it feasible that Liddell could take them out. Sure, it would be a fun sight to see that familiar mohawk and blue shorts in the Octagon, followed by his familiar celebration. Everybody in sports loves a great comeback story, but for Liddell, his great comeback attempt came up short as Rich Franklin blasted the former great into retirement. While the retirement wasn’t necessarily Liddell’s call, his chin made the decision much easier.
Chuck Liddell just loves to compete– win or lose. Many would have loved to seen Babe Ruth battle Barry Bonds in a home run race in 2001, Michael Jordan play against LeBron James in 2011, and in this case, a prime Chuck Liddell facing off against Jon Jones– the past meeting present and producing results.
Nostalgia has a market in almsost every sport. But it’s not happening. No chance. The fact remains that Liddell is a 44 year old man, who hasn’t competed in three and a half years, and when he did, couldn’t take apunch. It’s not uncommon in combat sports for someone to lose their ability to take a big shot, and the speed and quick twitch muscles are soon to follow.
Chuck Liddell will always go down as one of the most exciting fighters ever to compete in mixed martial arts and absolutely deserves his spot in the UFC Hall of Fame. His legacy is set in stone as a box office draw, and a fantastic fighter.
Let’s just leave the memories he created instead of creating new ones of an icon lying flat on his back, asking the referee “what happened?”
Leave the memories alone,
Stay retired Iceman.