Chuck Liddell you are already a legend, superstar,former championship title holder with several defenses, something that has seemed to elude the slew of former champions to hold the belt that once seeming was super-glued to your waist , and a member of the UFC hall of fame.
And most of this sucess came upon you in the late twenties to the early and mid-thirties.
WHERE DID IT ALL GO WRONG? WHEN DID YOU GO FROM HAVING AN IRON CHIN TO A CHIN OF SWISS CHESSE?
RRIDE! You remember that little trip in the middle of the night where you were supossed to tear right through the competition on your way to a title match to find out who was to be the official baddest fighter on the planet, Wanderlei Silva or Chuck Liddell.
Well it was not to be as a quarter-final loss to a then virtually unknown fighter to the American public in Quinton "Rampage" Jackson sent the fighter back to the states without ever getting a chance to face his arch-nemesis in Silva.
But without a hitch, and little word of the loss to Jackson, Liddell went on with his winning ways and even with some wins seemingly comming out of left field, like the Vernon White fight when Lidell was tagged and to add to the drama looked over to his corner men for advice on what to do when you have been punched in the face, was this the beginning of the end? not yet.
2006 was a banner year for the aging fighter yet with no signs of slowing down despite the rampant rumors that Liddell would rather drink and party with girls more than he would train even though he was in what many would call the twilight of his fighting days, in the year of the "ICEMAN" Liddell managed wins over Randy Couture, Tito Ortiz And Babalu Sobral while winning the sherdog fighter of the year award.
AND THEN IT ALL CAME CRASHING DOWN ON HIM. After a ZUFFA buyout of the PRIDE FC organization came to light a whole new slew of fighters were back in the line Liddell had worked so hard to dismantle, but thats just how the cookie crumbles.
First, a little score to settle with an old friend, not only had Liddell lost to Jackson that night in Japan he was actually thrown around the ring like a rag doll, something his American fans would have seen as an odd and very poor performance from the best fighter on the planet, even his corner had to throw the towel in to save Liddell from further punishment.
Now the rematch, in America, his home turf, in a cage, his old familiar stomping ground, and to add to the fact that Liddell had never lost to consecutive fighters before, this fight had all the feel of another championship defense.
Until the bell rung and Chuck had his rung several minutes later by a new breed of fighter, someone more physically imposing, more brash and even hugrier, but most important , someone with more power in those hands.
But after Liddell lost to Kieth Jardine in a great show of how to work a gameplan to perfection some bad things started to take root in the MMA world, Liddell's lack of training and preparation and Chuck did nothing to squash the rumors, he GLORIFIED them with pics of him hanging out all night right in the middle of prime fighting training periods.
Chuck Liddell who is now officially retired, might someday look back on his final period of fighting and wonder, could I have lasted as long as Randy Couture had I actually taken better care of my life when it needed it the most, or was it just meant to be my time to go down into flames all at once.
Chuck Liddell, once the baddest man on the planet,is now just a man with a cheddar cheese chin but could the "Iceman" have at least extended his career a few more years with some actual work ethic and a shot of "I give a shit". maybe, maybe not, and maybe the girls were just to good looking to turn down.