Chuck Liddell Has Retired, So When Is Randy Couture Doing the Same?
We all saw it coming, but much like you'd see at an intervention, it takes two to tango.
It takes a group of people to understand the situation, and it takes only the person with whom everyone is concerned to admit, that in fact, there is a situation.
We've had our questions since UFC Hall of Famer Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell stepped into the cage with—and got knocked out in the third round by—one "Suga" Rashad Evans at UFC 88.
For most longtime fans of the sport who have followed Liddell's career from its inception to his UFC 115 bout with Rich "Ace" Franklin, the loss of Liddell's UFC Light Heavyweight title to Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and the loss to Evans were equally devastating and pretty hard of thoughts to swallow.
Could it have been at the time that The Iceman was about to melt until he was no more?
Some hoped not when he fought Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 97, but alas, it took but one shot to break another block off of The Iceman.
He needed to get back on track—Chuck Liddell, somehow, some-darned-way, needed to do what many never fathomed.
Chuck Liddell needed to reinvent Chuck Liddell.
When the pics came out on Twitter in the weeks leading up to UFC 115, even yours truly couldn't believe that the man with the mohawk, the hot girlfriend (Ms. Heidi Northcott) and the jacked-up physique was really Chuck Liddell.
The weigh-ins shut us all up, and all of a sudden, the thought of Chuck losing all of a sudden became as tough to swallow as it was for some fans when they saw Evans knock him out.
For that first round in Vancouver, it seemed like Chuck had in fact reinvented himself, but then Rich caught him with as nasty of a shot as Chuck's ever been caught with, and that was the ray of sunlight that melted the man completely.
The Iceman was no more, a fact which Liddell announced yesterday at the UFC 125 press conference.
All the talk about Liddell's hanging-up of the gloves has some wondering about one of Liddell's former adversaries, one Randy Couture.
When will The Natural do what we all thought he'd do—but didn't want him to do—after suffering a second loss to Liddell in the conclusion to their epic trilogy which took place at UFC 57?
Truth be told, if he really hasn't done that, then I haven't heard too much about it.
Talks about Shogun vs. Couture—a bout in some ways akin to Couture's UFC 67 bout with Tim Sylvia, minus the belt being up for grabs—have surfaced in recent months, all in the now-closed case of "Who gets the first crack at Shogun?"
Mind you, I would not mind or care if Shogun opts to fight Couture or the other way around, whether the belt is up for grabs or not.
That said, does Couture—the first man to become champion in two different weight classes—really have anything left to prove?
Can we make a legitimate argument that says that "any current UFC Light Heavyweight" against Randy Couture makes for a bout that is not only entertaining but also makes perfect sense?
Perhaps we can do that.
After all, Couture knows that a sixth title—a third UFC LIght Heavyweight title—is out of the question at the moment, and he's content if the last image fight fans have is of him causing James Toney to shake out in Boston at UFC 118.
He's fine with his name not being in many people's top five or top 10 UFC contenders at 205 pounds, and I believe this is why he doesn't mind a fight with former champion Lyoto Machida or even a non-title fight with Shogun.
It's not about the belt or being "pound-for-pound" anything—it's all about putting on just one more show for the fans.
Well, Captain America, I say this:
If being the next opponent for the champ or for the former champ is the gateway to the absolute final memory you want to leave with us here in the world of MMA, then to UFC President Dana White I say this:
If Shogun walks out of UFC 128 Jersey as the champ, at least consider it, Dana.
Frankly, I can't think of a better way to finally send off one of the truest living legends of our sport.