Chuck just moved into the 'ceremonial fight' stage of his career. A rematch with Wanderlei Silva, maybe a superfight against Anderson Silva, maybe yet another match with Couture. Then he should hang it up. All of these fights should take place at wide intervals to Chuck proper recovery/preparation time.
Or, he could just retire. I think the next generation of light-heavyweights are already taking over.
“How is it that I am a good actor? What I do is I... pretend to be the person I’m portraying. You’re confused. Case in point: in Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson comes to me and says ‘I would like you to be Gandalf the Wizard,’ and I said ‘You are aware that I am not really a wizard?’ and Peter Jackson said ‘I would like you to use your acting skills to portray a wizard for the duration of the show.’ So I said ‘Okay’ and then I said to myself ‘Mmm.. How do I do that?’ And this is what I did: I imagined that I was a wizard, and then I pretended, and acted, in that way on the stage. How did I know what to say? The words were written down for me in a script. How did I know where to stand? People told me where to stand." -- Sir Ian McKellen, Extras
In fairness to Chuck, that punch would have knocked out a polar bear.
On the other hand, there's something I've always hated about him, and I'd be glad to see him in a decreased role. He probably won't quit though. Lots of fighters or celebrities in general can't let go of the limelight, even when their time has clearly passed.
I've watched the replay of the knockout from several angles at this point; my favorite is to Lidell's rear left quarter where you can see his entire upper back, neck, and shoulders deform when that punch hits.
There's no question in my mind that if Liddell's uppercut lands to the head before Evans' overhand right, Evans is the one waking up someplace unfamiliar. To me that really highlights the speed of Evans: theoretically, an uppercut is the shortest power punch that can be thrown and an overhand hook the longest. To my eye, Evans threw after Liddell; unreal.
Got to look at the 2nd round right now and yeah, it sure looked like a cliche movie scene from 'Rocky'. So incredibly close were the two punches to connecting at the same time. That said, I thought Evans fought the smarter fight by preventing Lidell from connecting with that right that he had cocked and loaded for a while there. That's the problem with Chuck: he tries too hard to finish it with one punch and leaves himself wide open in the process.
My one problem with the clip was not with the fight itself, but with the dumbass crowd watching it. It looked like a good matchup and Evans was all class, wishing Lidell was ok and giving him props as a fighter, and they *still* were booing him for no good reason. Between this and the crowd at Unforgiven (from what I read), this weekend sounds like one where the crowds were sucking some major ass at the PPV events.
Really it comes down to Liddell being unable to break the habit of going for those big shots that leave him wide open. He did it in the fight against Jackson, and did it again against Evans.
On a broader scope, Liddell's done in the sense that the current crop of fighters isn't perplexed by his unorthodox style of striking anymore and have figured out that they just have to wait for him to get wide open for a KO. They've figured him out; the sport evolved past Liddell and it's probably too late for him to catch up.
BigBad hit the nail on the head - he's just got the "name" fights left. I could see his next fight being against Anderson Silva (Wandy's next fight is going to be Jackson).
I'm not a Liddell fan by any stretch, but calling for him to hang 'em up is just... I dunno, crazy. This isn't boxing, this is MMA. Guys lose fights, even the best (hell, eventually Fedor will lose to something other than a freak cut).
Some of the best fighters have gone through three and four loss streaks... guys come back from that. One big punch, one quick submission, and it's game over for that fight. Anybody who has ever trained knows this. It's part of the beauty of the sport, and why, uh, getting in actual fights is such a crap shoot.
I mean really, everyone wrote Couture off after Chuck ko'd him twice running... and the old bastard came back and won the heavyweight title, then successfully defended it.
Rashad Evans is no joke -- excellent fighter. He just plain rung Chuck's bell.
But is it totally out of the question that they could beat out Benfica and Spartak Moscow for a spot in the last 16? If you say so, I'll believe you, but it doesn't seem totally out of the question to me.