This is what I saw last night at UFC 115. I saw the "Iceman". He was therein all his glory. Chuck Liddell was stalking Rich Franklin for five straight minutes and throwing very powerful shots. Chuck was winning the round. Then, at 4:55 he was caught with what in all honesty was not a very hard shot. Chuck went down and was out cold stretched.
This is the problem here. Usually a punch like the one that knocked out chuck wouldn't drop a flyweight. Second, if it did drop someone, it wouldn't put them unconscious. I may not be a doctor, and I may not know the exact science of a knockout, but what I do know is that Rich Franklin is capable of hitting much harder than that. It was basically a short jab that didn't even really connect dirsctly with Liddell's chin.
He was out cold stretched. He didn't get up for a few minutes. Chuck's early career caught up with him.
Chuck Liddell used to have a chin made of iron. He was known for stalking forward and taking his opponents best shot then just firing right back at them. He has never used a lot of head movement. He fights with his hands at his side. His bread and butter was being able to take those shots to the face and not even feel it.
Chuck Liddell is the same fighter who won the light heavyweight title 4 long years ago. I saw him last night. He has all the skills that made him great. Sick power. Awesome kicks, great wrestling, and the ability to control a fight.
The only problem is that Chuck has no chin. One punch to the jaw area is all it takes to end his night these days. 4 out of 6 fights have been knockouts now.
Against Rampage, Chuck did get caught. He didn't even go unconscious. He was pounded out. It was Rashad Evans who truly started the end of the Iceman's career. We have all seen the knockout.
It was one of themost brutal knockouts ever. There is no way Chuck's chin ever recovered from that. Something in Chuck Liddell's head was knocked loose by Rashad Evans that night.
Chuck has gone from having an iron chin to having a chin made of gummy bears and fine china.
It is of this writers opinion that if Chuck still had his chin, he would be able to beat anyone in the UFC's Light Heavyweight Division, even today. I saw that last night. Chuck Liddell is the same. It is his chin that has changed.
So we bid goodbye to the greatest Light Heavyweight in the history of the sport. We wonder if he will someday fight Tito Ortiz one more time. I think Chuck Liddell has the skills to still be a champ. It is this thought that leaves us fans, and Chuck himself with one final thought that can summarize the sad ending to Chuck Liddell's career.
What could have been, if I only had a chin?
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