In the span of his entire career, Chuck Liddell could be called absolutely anything but a boring or safe fighter. The man was known for having an iron jaw, balls of steel and hands that seemed to contain magnets attracted to the chins of his opponents.
Liddell recently had an interview with U-T San Diego, claiming that he felt fighters are being too safe nowadays in comparison to a record like his finishing the majority of his victories with a knockout.
Regarding what exactly bothers him about today’s strategies in MMA, Liddell had the following to say:
“I’d really have to talk to the guys to see if that’s really what they’re doing. I see it like guys are trying a lot more to just get their win so they can get their next fight. When we were doing it, it was a lot more about just going out and fighting. I hate hearing in a UFC corner ‘you won the first four rounds, just stay away from him this round.’ The guy doesn’t have a knockout punch, hasn’t taken you down the whole fight, why do you have to go be afraid of him? Go out and win! Make it exciting, go knock him out, finish the fight.”
While it is definitely a safe tactic for your job to secure the win, recently released fighters like Leonard Garcia have proved that you can stick around in this business a little longer just by coming to fight and go for it at the sound of every bell. Even if it means losing a couple times. But at the end of the day how many fighters can you think coasting when they know they have the fight in the bag?
While it is a “Safe” strategy for obtaining the victory, it just isn’t fun, not for either fighter, the promoter or most importantly the fans. If a a fighter is dominating and his opponent has no answer for 2-3 rounds, why not just go for it and begin pushing the pace. If your opponent ultimately has had no answer, why hesitate and play it safe when you can do yourself and everyone else a favor by ending this with an exclamation point.
All opinions aside, Liddel was asked about his feelings regarding his fighting career and his desire to keep competing:
“Would I still like to fight? Yeah, I want to fight” he says,” but I accepted that that’s where I was at and Father Time caught up with me and that maybe it was better that I didn’t. I’ve got a family, and I get to enjoy my family and I get to do different things, trying the movie thing a little bit. I’ve been on a lot of shows that I like, doing guest appearances and little things. I’m just trying to have fun with being retired.”
What do you think Lowkickers? Do you agree with Liddell? Have fighters lost the killer instinct?
On a side note… Is it just me or does Chuck Liddell look a lot like Michael Rooker from The Walking Dead?