Make or Break Time for The Iceman Chuck Liddell

Jake SauickieCorrespondent IMay 26, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO - SEPTEMBER 13: UFC fighter Chuck Liddell looks on before the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers Major League Baseball game at AT&T Park on September 13, 2009 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Chuck Liddell is without a doubt one of the many faces of Mixed Martial Arts. He is one of the few men that also brought MMA into the mainstream media.

His career is legendary.

His accomplishments include an astounding 15 wins inside the UFC Octagon, he's the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, he has defeated the who's who of the light heavyweight division, and he is now a UFC Hall of Famer.

As of now, his record stands at 21-7, with 13 wins coming by way of knockout.

But, since being dethrowned from the top of the division by former UFC Champion Rampage Jackson, Chuck has gone 1-3 and has been knocked out in his last two appearances.

It is clear that The Iceman got soft after defending his title over subpar opponents. After defending the light heavyweight crown four times, he finally collapsed at the hands of an old foe, Quinton Jackson.

There is a lot speculation going on right now with what will happen next for Liddell.

Many MMA analysts believe Chuck's best days are behind him and he should retire before he gets knocked out again or hurt much worse (I feel the same).

But then there are the very loyal followers of The Iceman who will follow him to the death.

These people believe Chuck simply got lazy, fell into a rut, and will eventually regain his light heavyweight crown.

I wouldn't say Chuck Liddell's career has been tarnished by his recent defeats, but if he continues getting knocked out, I just might start believing that may happen.

While I do believe Chuck's days as a force in the light heavyweight division are over, I am a firm believer in that he still has a puncher's chance. (i.e. Liddell against Overeem)

Right now, Chuck is slated to face former Middleweight Champion Rich "Ace" Franklin at UFC 115.

For Franklin, a win puts him back into the winners' column after his knockout loss to Vitor Belfort at UFC 103. A victory over the legendary Iceman, and it's a start for him as he is returning to the light heavyweight division.

For Liddell, it's do or die. If Chuck wins, he just beat a young guy of good quality and can take that step forward in reclaiming the UFC gold and possibly avenge his losses over the last men that beat him. If he loses, in any fashion, I do think it would be best for him to hang up those 4 oz. gloves.

I'm not a die hard fan of Liddell, but I can't help but like the guy.

He's a tough guy that will fight anyone. He's sure in what he wants and he's going after it. No matter how many times he's been knocked out, he still wants to come back and fight.

For the upcoming UFC 115 card, I'm pulling for both guys to win because they both need a win desperately, but sadly only one can be the winner.

It is possible Chuck will be the light heavyweight champion again.

It is possible he will be knocked out again.

It is also possible Chuck will retire after his upcoming fight with Rich Franklin.

But if there is one thing I do know, it's this.

Chuck Liddell is one of the greatest fighters of all time and win or lose, The Iceman will never be forgotten.