Sports Illustrated quickly put to rest the rumors about Chuck Liddell (21-7) fighting Rich Franklin (25-4 1 NC) at UFC 103 on September 19th from the American Airlines Center in Dallas. Liddell told SI.com last Friday that he plans on sitting out “for at least a year or so, just to let my head rest.”
Liddell, who has lost four of his last five bouts, noted that he would meet with UFC president Dana White in Las Vegas this week during the UFC 100 festivities. While White had been trying to convince Liddell to retire – to the point of publicly saying that “we have definitely seen the last of Chuck Liddell” – Liddell has maintained his silence. He told SI.com that he still hasn’t made a decision regarding his future.
“Hopefully my brain can heal over time,” Liddell stated. “The shot last fight is something that normally wouldn’t hurt me. I think I need at least some time off from getting hit. I’m going to take time off sparring then. I’ll train still. Still gonna roll. I’ll probably do a little more jiu-jitsu than normal because I like it. It’s fun.”
While Liddell vs. Franklin won’t happen at UFC 103, Franklin will likely be fighting at the event. The Dayton Daily News is reporting that UFC officials spoke to Franklin about fighting on that card and mentioned several possible opponents, none of which where Liddell. The article goes on to note that Luis Cane (10-1) is a possibility to take the fight.
Franklin fulfilled the terms of his previous UFC contract with his split decision victory over Wanderlei Silva at UFC 99: The Comeback last month. He is expected to sign a new deal with the UFC in the coming weeks.