2009 is a year that will be a year of many goodbyes in the UFC. Many expect some of the older fighters to start bowing out of competition. Common names include Randy Couture, Matt Hughes, possibly Anderson Silva, and yes...Chuck Liddell.
Liddell, once the toughest man to beat in the UFC, has gotten soft, and who can blame him. Age is every fighter's worst enemy, and it just so happens that age appears to be catching up with Liddell, as he just turned 40 less than one week ago.
It is Liddell who has pioneered the high and mighty Light Heavyweight division to what it is today, with youths such as Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, and Thiago Silva (to name a few) taking the reigns from the elderly Liddell.
Please don't get me wrong...I'm not saying that Liddell is no longer a force to be reckoned with, as his right hand would certainly have something to say about that. However, the chances of Liddell getting a title shot once again is very slim with all the contenders now ahead of him. Also, don't forget that Liddell is a man of pride and dignity, and he'll bow out if he feels it is the right time.
The possibility of Liddell's resurgence is very slim, though not impossible. His next few fights may be against some of the bottom half of the LHW division, with fighters such as James Irvin, and Houston Alexander all still very viable bouts.
Much talk has come of Liddell facing Anderson Silva, another man expected to retire at the end of 2009. To me, and many fight fans, this is not a very smart fight for Liddell, should he take it. Silva, at this point, has all the tools necessary to defeat Liddell very easily, and should he take the fight, it may not make much sense to him either, with not much to gain from a win.
Regardless of Liddell's next few fights, I still believe that it would be a smart choice on his part to end 2009 with a glory, gory fight...the way we want to remember Chuck.