Is This The End For The IceMan?
With Rashad Evan’s devastating knockout of UFC legend Chuck ‘The Iceman’ Liddell, the former UFC Light-heavyweight champion will have to dig deep and do some soul searching if he wants to remain a serious contender in the 205 lbs class.
At age 38, Liddell appears destined for retirement but if he does decide to make one more run for the title, he needs to change a few things…and the proof is in the pudding!!!
Liddell has lost 3 of his last 4 fights. The first one was to Rampage Jackson which cost him his title. The second loss was to Keith Jardine, which showcased a weak game plan by Liddell and an inability to make real-time changes in the Octagon and on Saturday night, Liddell’s striking-only game plan was exposed by Rashad Evans, a fighter known far more for his wrestling skills than for his punching prowess.
The one key fight here was the victory over Vanderlai Silva. Even though for the vast majority of the fight, Liddell did use his prototypical striking-only game plan, in the third round, he surprised Silva ( and everybody that was watching) by taking down the Brazilian and working some ground’n’pound.
It is that element of surprise that Liddell needs to insert back into his game because as it stands, opponents have figured out his game plan, whether he is stalking them in the fight or counter-punching in hopes to land the knockout blow. But the question remains, will Liddell retire?
The Iceman said after the fight Saturday that he won’t make his decision right away. Personally, I don’t think he’ll shut it down for good quite yet. But if Liddell wants to return to the upper echelon that is Anderson Silva, Georges St.Pierre and BJ Penn, he will need to replicate what all three of these fighters have, and that’s a multi-faceted arsenal that can finish a fight in all ranges of the game.