Chuck Liddell’s long-time coach and friend John Hackleman is always careful not to speak for ‘The Iceman’ when it comes to his retirement plans, but after watching him get knocked out again at UFC 115 he’s not in a hurry to see it happen again.
“You can’t make someone quit, but definitely when I looked down at him in the cage, my stomach … it just didn’t feel good,” he told SI.com’s Josh Gross earlier this week.
Hackleman reveals he’s not talked to the fighter yet about his plans, but the writing appears to be on the wall nonetheless.
“I don’t think there’s too much to talk about,” he says. “I think we both know what he’s going to do. I won’t speak for him like Dana [White] did. I’ll just say I’d rather he not do it anymore.”
Like another of Liddell’s close friends and former manager Dana White, Hackleman sees the defeat in an almost poetic light, with the legend heading into battle one last time before going out on his shield.
“The thing that made him the most famous, richest, most exciting superstar in the sport also can come back and haunt him. All the game planning went out the window and the warrior in him took over. He dropped his hands, took his chin up and started swinging for the fences. That’s the way he went in and that’s the way he went out. That’s just him.”