After eight long years in the sidelines, 48-year-old UFC Hall-of-Famer Chuck Liddell made his MMA return to face long-time rival Tito Ortiz for the third time. The fight took place late last month, and ended exactly how many had predicted.
“The Iceman’s” fourth straight KO loss, this time courtesy of Ortiz, was a result that was forthcoming as soon as the fight commenced. He implemented the exact same approach that he did in his younger years, which evidently was no longer as effective, even during the few fights prior to his retirement in 2010.
For observers like UFC analyst Joe Rogan, Liddell had just latched on to this particular style of fighting, despite its inefficiency as time went on.
“He had a style that was incredibly effective back in the day and I think he became married to that approach,” Rogan said on recent episode of his JRE MMA Show podcast (transcript via MMA Fighting). “He was just a marauder.”
“You could hit him the face with a f—ng crowbar and he would just spit metal out. He didn’t give a sh-t. He was so badass back in the day. That style, there comes a certain point in time where you just can’t do that anymore.”
“There’s a right way to fight and a wrong way to fight and one of the things about seeing Chuck go out on his shield like that, it’s like, this is the bed he made,” he added. “This is his style.”
Based on what he’d seen in that fight, Rogan offered a piece of advice to young fighters today.
“When you see Chuck go out on his shield, something about it to me, I don’t like seeing it. I definitely would’ve liked it if he didn’t get knocked out again,” he said. “But one thing I would like young fighters to see is there’s consequences to choices in terms of how you approach these exchanges and how you fight. I’m of the belief that you should fight the correct way.”
“Don’t fight the way that pleases your boss or the crowd. Fight the way you’re supposed to with your skills, and win by knockout when you can. But don’t get knocked out because you’re trying to win by knockout and you overextending yourself and overexposing yourself. That’s not wise. I think part of fighting has to be wise.”
While he did take home $250,000 from his third fight against Ortiz, Liddell is currently under indefinite medical suspension for possible fractures to both his left shoulder and left knee.