The Fallen Warrior: What Does The Future Hold For Chuck Liddell?

Matt RandallCorrespondent IApril 19, 2009

At one time Chuck Liddell was the most feared striker in the world, but last night he suffered his fourth loss in his last five fights, his third via TKO or KO.

Liddell was matched up against Mauricio Rua, the deadly Brazilian striker who has not looked good as of late, and coming off a heavily criticized win over Mark Coleman, and to some a surprising loss in his octagon debut to Forrest Griffin.

Chuck stated to Joe Rogan after the fight that he didn’t feel right out there, whether this means retirement or not, I have to say it was an emotional night for those watching.

Not only for the millions of fans in Chuck’s corner, but for any viewer who has watched Chuck’s career. Chuck looked defeated, for the first time in his career, he looked liked he didn’t belong.

Chuck has always been the most confident man in the octagon. Even in defeat, he credits Evans with the win, but then quickly says he got caught and all fighters sometimes get caught. After this defeat I don’t know what Chuck will have to say.

I have seen every fight Chuck has had in the UFC and after the fight tonight, I have never seen him so emotionally beaten.

I don’t know how or if a fighter can come back from that type of breakdown.

Dana White stated before the fight that Chuck had to put on a show, to dazzle him, if he wanted to fight in the UFC again.

Clearly, this didn’t happen.

So what is left for Chuck? Does he convince Dana he has some fight left in him or does he have to start looking for a new organization?

Will Dana let him come back? The two are close friends and let’s face it; Chuck still draws a big crowd of followers who are willing to spend their money to see him fight.

Even if Dana lets him fight again who would he fight?

If he doesn’t where would Chuck go? It’s hard to picture Chuck fighting in another organization after his illustrious career in the UFC. I am sure that Affliction or Strikeforce would love to add the name Chuck Liddell to their roster.

Could we possibly see a Chuck Liddell—Vitor Belfort rematch? Or maybe Strikeforce will match him up with Kimbo Slice.

Maybe we could even see Chuck and Tito fight each other outside of the UFC.

Regardless of what happens Chuck has always been one of the most exciting fighters to ever step into the octagon, ring, cage or anywhere else he has fought. He eventually will be inducted to the UFC Hall of Fame.

I guess the future is really in Chuck’s hands. Does he feel that he has enough fight left in him? Only time will tell.

I just hope he decides to let go before he really tarnishes what he has worked so hard to achieve or worse, injures himself.

Did we really see a fighter who looked like he didn’t belong? No, we didn’t. Chuck’s striking didn’t seem too different than usual, left jab, looping right. It’s just that nothing really connected too cleanly. We did see Chuck attempt and be successful in his first take down in many years.

However, he didn’t stay on the ground too long, but what if Chuck has been working on something we haven’t seen from him, ground and pound or maybe some submission attempts.

Does Chuck need to bring some new aspects to his game that he never had to before, or did Chuck wait too long before trying to adapt to the new level of fighters?

I think that if Chuck does have another arsenal of weapons, he has waited too long to show them.

If they are there for him to use, why hasn’t he even attempted? It leads me to think that he must lack confidence in anything other than his striking.

However, he may decide to go back to the gym, totally reinvent his game, and become a true mixed martial artist. The style that seems to be seemingly popular among all the new champions, Georges St-Pierre comes to mind. Maybe we haven’t seen the last reign of Chuck Liddell.

Don’t call it a comeback; I’ve been here for years.

—         LL Cool J