A Triangle Most Strange: Dana White, Chuck Liddell, and John Hackleman
I have frequently been told that I have a "fertile imagination."
Probably this is just another way of people telling me that I am full of bull****.
Since I have been writing articles about MMA, other fans have commented that only in my imagination would any of the fighters whom I write about even recognise me by my name, let alone my face.
In fact, I myself would be completely blown away if I went to a UFC event and was recognized by any fighter I have ever written about.
That would be counting the fact that even if I was in my wheelchair, wearing a shirt that said Grandma Dee on it, and was followed by someone holding a sign that read—"This is Grandma Dee."
It just is not at all likely to ever happen.
However, even in my wildest ruminating over the triangle of Dana White, Chuck Liddell and John Hackleman and contemplating whether it is an odd type of "bromance" or just a competition over Chuck and his money making potential, could I come up with a possible answer to the question: What is going on with these three men?
It seemed to be very simple at first glance.
Dana said he did not want Chuck to get hurt by continuing to fight.
He commanded that Chuck remain in the ring after losing to Mauricio Shojun Rua, then had Joe Rogan announce Chuck's retirement to the world and a dumbfounded Liddell himself.
Later a video surfaced of Dana going into Chuck's dressing room and kissing him on his Mohawked head after the fight.
Not a word was said.
Since that occasion, plenty has been said.
Namely by Chuck's trainer and friend, John Hackleman who insists that Chuck has at least one good fight left in him before mandatory retirement.
And as odd as it sounds, Chuck does have one fight left on his UFC contract.
Chuck will turn 40 at the end of the year in mid-December.
If he could manage to fight this last fight after a year's layoff, I can conceivably believe that an old fire dog like the Iceman could run with the trucks one more time.
Maybe he wouldn't be able to put out the fire, but he probably could have a respectable showing as a veteran with no quit in his nature.
But, thanks to his old manager slash best buddy Dana White, he may never even get the chance despite what he and Hackleman would wish.
The "house" holds all the cards in this case, and there is nothing Chuck and John can do except wave good bye to any what-ifs they might raise.
By holding Chuck's contract and refusing to book a fight for him, Dana has the power to "retire Chuck" just as he has announced, leaving Chuck with no alternative but to obey his command—just as he remained in the cage after Dana demanded he "sit" like a pet dog.
So, John Hackleman insisting that "Chuck will retire when he says he will retire, and not before," is just so much wishful thinking.
It is a big coup for Dana without a possible rematch with Keith Jardine, which Hackleman had hoped for as a more fitting last hurrah for friend Chuck.
No one is laughing, but Dana has exchanged barbs with John suggesting that "his house must not be paid off yet."
Dana White accusing someone else of using a UFC figter just to make big bucks!