Former long-time UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell fought what many assume was his last fight against Rich Franklin on June 12th at UFC 115. Despite coming out strong and looking better than he had in his last several fights, Liddell was knocked out cold by a short right hand that Franklin delivered square to “The Iceman’s” jaw.
UFC President Dana White had promised Liddell’s retirement before, but when he did it this time most thought that Liddell would go along with White’s urging. Liddell is not so sure however, as he told Yahoo! Sports Kevin Iole that he has not yet made any decisions regarding his career.
“I’m still working on evaluating,” Liddell said. “I thought I did great before I was caught. I have to look at it some more and think about it. I think I looked good and I definitely was in great shape. I could have kept that pace up for another four rounds, without a doubt.”
It has already been said that doing as well as he did against Franklin could have been the worst thing to happen to Liddell; were he knocked out right away he would have no choice but to face the facts that his chin is gone and retirement is his best option but having delivered such a solid performance early on may now have Liddell hesitant to hang up the gloves. The fact that he rediscovered his motivation and competitive drive during the preparation for this bout is also not likely to spur “The Iceman” towards retirement.
“It’s hard to beat that [aggressiveness] out of me, because that’s who I am and that’s who I’ve been for a long, long time,” Liddell said. “People like watching me because of the way I fight, so it’s hard to get me not to fight that way.”
Whatever “The Iceman” chooses to do it is sure that his loyal legion of fans will support him but for now the iconic Californian brawler is going to take his time and mull over his options, not committing to make any decisions about retiring any time soon.
“There’s a lot still to think about,” Liddell said. “I felt pretty good and I think showed I can compete. I’m not going to rush and I’ll do what I think is best. I’m just not at a point to make that decision yet.”