It was May 15th, 1998 and Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell made his debut in The UFC when he faced off against Noe Hernandez. Chuck picked up the win with a Unanimous Decision and 12 years later is still a force in the company. However, last night we saw the defeat of Chuck against Rich "Ace" Franklin with a straight right hand. This could be the last time we see Liddell in the octagon and this defeat doesn't tell the whole story of his career.
Chuck Liddell has been the focal point of the company and if anybody mentions The UFC his name is surely included. He has established himself as true fighter and person whatever the outcome of his fights. This loss doesn't tarnish his legacy and career because Chuck Liddell left it all out in the octagon. Liddell had a 10 fight winning streak at one time with only 3 of those going to a decision. Over his 29 fights in his career Chuck finished 14 of them with either a knockout or technical knockout. What he did inside and out of the sport made it hard for you not to appreciate his talent and respect for others. Chuck is going to be a name still talked about in the MMA sport for years to come.
Last night was not only rough on Liddell but Rich Franklin as well. Franklin said in the post fight press conference that he didn't want to be the one to be in the situation of ending Liddell's career. It is a tough situation to be in but if that was his last time in the octagon what a better way to go out than to Franklin? This one loss will not be a burden on his entire career and Chuck probably shares the same sediment.
You can call Chuck Liddell's career as Nolan Ryan like and never seemed to let losses hamper him. He presented himself in as a work-type matter and always seemed to be happy what he was doing. He was in the sport for the love and not for just the money aspect involved.. People are already saying they still want to see Liddell Ortiz 3 but the question is the health involved in both fighters.
Sure the money would still filter in and the buys would be up but what would happen if there is a medical type injury and it could possibly hurt either fighter? Both fighters need to move on to different stages in their life and let that fire fizzle out between each other. It will be tough for Chuck to end the job he has always loved, but only he knows when his time is up.
Chuck Liddell has had so many moments throughout his career that were memorable that it's impossible to list them here. Chuck had his ups and downs like a lot of fighters have had but nobody had the urgency and will to fight as he did. Hopefully Chuck stays in The UFC as some type of coach, or even an agent to be around what he loves to do. Whatever happens in the next few weeks or months Chuck Liddell has made a mark in The UFC and his legacy will be a strong one for many years to come.