Let’s be honest, as much as MMA fans have complained about Rich Franklin and Wanderlei Silva headlining the upcoming UFC 147 PPV, the event was really dead the moment that Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen were forced to move their middleweight title fight to Las Vegas.
Sure, the rematch between Silva and Vitor Belfort was a fun fight between two of the most popular Brazilian fighters in the sport, but it still wasn’t a terribly strong main event and the PPV card was already getting a lot of negative feedback from fans.
When Belfort was forced out of the bout with a hand injury last month, the Internet immediately started to wonder who could possibly take his place.
Alan Belcher was usually the first fighter to come to mind, but “The Talent” was seen walking around in a cast at UFC 146 by several MMA reporters and couldn’t possibly have been ready to fight in time.
It seemed the UFC was out of options until they convinced Franklin, who has stepped up for the company countless times before, to take the fight on short notice against “The Axe Murderer”.
While the rematch between Franklin and Silva is far from a horrible fight, the UFC had one last card they could have played that may not have made the hardcore fans jump for joy, but definitely would have saved the event in terms of marketing and PPV buys.
In case you haven’t guessed, that card was Chuck Liddell.
It seems crazy that the UFC should even consider throwing Liddell into another fight inside the Octagon, especially since he was knocked out in his last three UFC appearances, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
Despite having been retired for almost two years, Liddell remains one of the most popular faces in MMA and considering how fantastic his original bout with Silva was, the rematch wouldn’t be a very hard sell.
“The Iceman” coming back for one last fight to take on the one man that was considered his equal when was in his prime is a story that sells itself, and the casual fans would be sure to bank on their hero going into enemy territory for one last brawl.
For a while Chuck and Wanderlei were crushing every other 205-pound fighter in both the UFC and Pride, and while their eventual fight at UFC 79 more than lived up to expectations, the rematch has all the potential to do the same.
It’s doubtful that Liddell is in any kind of shape to take a fight on less than a months notice, and UFC president Dana White has been pretty clear that Chuck’s days of fighting inside the Octagon are long gone.
But if somehow the kinks could have been worked out it would have been one hell of a main event.