The main event of the evening at UFC 115 delivered as Rich Franklin knocked out Chuck Liddell and surely put an end to the career of one of the legends of the sport.
Up until the end of the first round this had been a highly competitive encounter with both fighters landing meaningful blows, and Liddell in particular mixing up his punches, kicks and even takedowns more than we’ve seen in his recent fights.
What wasn’t known until after the fight though was that Liddell had in fact broken Franklin’s left arm with a powerful kick early in the bout. Showing the remarkable heart that’s been a trademark in his MMA career Franklin gave little indication that he was hurt and continued fighting, but Liddell did seem to be gaining the momentum as the round drew to a close.
As he pressed the action and began to throw heavy leather ‘The Iceman” overcommitted and stepped straight into a short right hook that collapsed him to the canvas and left him with another KO defeat on his resume.
It was an impressive and memorable highlight reel victory for Franklin who banishes the memory of his defeat to Vitor Belfort and now becomes a solid contender at 205lbs.
At the same time it was sad to see Liddell taking another devastating loss after working hard to revive his career, and showing signs of improvement. It’s clear that his chin has now gone though, and he now has no option but to now call it a day.
In the end though, the losses that have marked the latter stages of his career should not detract from what’s been a remarkable career for one of the greatest fighters in the history of the sport.