Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion, Chuck Liddell, is returning to the sport he helped make famous after more than eight years in retirement. Not just because he has an opportunity to smash fellow Hall-of-Famer Tito Ortiz, but also because “The Iceman” truly believes he has something left to offer the mixed martial arts (MMA) community.
Which is why he’s returning with a warm-up fight against “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy.”
But there is also a chance that Liddell is deluding himself and that his critics, like UFC president Dana White, were correct in their assessment that the soon-to-be 49 year-old slugger is too old for cage fighting.
I guess there’s only one way to find out.
“When I started getting back in shape, if I decided to fight I said I was gonna do two or three more after that,” Liddell told Seconds Out (transcribed by Sherdog.com). “This is just a great warm-up fight. (There’s) not a better tuneup fight than [Ortiz]. I mean he’s someone I’m better than at everything, so it’s a great tuneup fight for me. If he beats me, I have no business being back in the ring again. If he beats me, I’m done.”
Ortiz — 0-2 against his longtime nemesis — is five years younger at age 43.
Liddell will return under Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions banner, airing live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., on Sat., Nov. 24, 2018 (see the official event poster here).
One of the concerns about the future of Liddell, which does not appear to be shared by California State Athletic Commission (CSAC), is how many times “The Iceman” was knocked out before hanging up the gloves.
His brain has rested, no doubt, but understanding the dangers of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is not an exact science and there is growing concerns about the longterm damage inflicted by concussions.
I guess it’s too late to vote for headgear for any fighter over 40?