It is believed that former champion and hall-of-famer Chuck Liddell will retire if he loses his comeback fight against Rich Franklin this weekend at UFC 115.
Here’s what the UFC president had to say when asked if that was the case by Fighters Only Magazine.
“Yes, and I think he will say the same thing. But let me tell you what the difference is – the difference before, when I wanted him retired, was that he wasn’t doing the right thing. He was out partying every night and doing the wrong thing not the right thing. He wasn’t living the life of a professional athlete,” White says.
“He and I sat down and talked and I will tell you what, he has kept his word. He has been phenomenal shape since the beginning of The Ultimate Fighter and it will be interesting to see how he does. Because Rick Franklin is tough, he is no joke. He had that war with Dan Henderson that many people believe he won, he had the war with Wanderlei Silva – he has fought all the best in the world.”
As for Liddell himself, in a recent interview he seemed to acknowledge that a defeat may well signal the time for him to hang up his gloves.
“This is a fight I feel I should win. I mean I should go out there, I’m in shape, I’m ready to fight. I might have to rethink it if I can’t win this fight.”
Of course it’s worth pointing out that Dana White was adamant that Liddell would retire after his loss to ‘Shogun’ Rua last year, so nothing is set in stone. If Franklin knocked him out then that would certainly be the end of the road, but if it ends up being a closely fought decision loss then there may still be light at the end of the tunnel for the legendary fighter.