Returning to the UFC to fight Rich Franklin at the age of 40 after a 14 month break it was inevitable that there would be questions over what kind of shape Chuck Liddell would be in for the bout.
Liddell is well known for his love of partying, and for having a somewhat distended belly even when in fighting shape. In new pictures posted up by his girlfriend Heidi Northcott however it appears that those days may be a thing of the past.
I’ll still wait until Friday’s weigh-ins before I’ll fully believe what I’m seeing, but there’s no doubt he’s put in the work for his return. Hopefully he’s put as much effort into his fighting skills as well. The word is that he’s put considerable time working on his jiu-jitsu during his time off, as well as tightening up the defensive side of his striking.
It’ll be interesting to see if he puts any of that to good use on the night, or falls back into his old routine of looking to connect with his lethal right hand.
Update: Watch footage of Liddell showing off his newly chiseled physique here