Chuck Liddell has been suspended indefinitely and that may be the best news to come out of the main event of Golden Boy’s first MMA event. MMA Fighting reported the medical suspensions with Liddell’s name being first on the list.
The reactions to Tito Ortiz earning a win over Chuck Liddell in Golden Boy MMA’s first event have been mixed, mostly leaning towards the negative. The concern for a 48-year-old former UFC champion Chuck Liddell continues to come from people that knew him best during his prime years in the sport. From his longtime coach John Hackleman calling it a “travesty” to Dana White bashing Oscar De La Hoya for booking the fight, the feedback has not been positive for that fight.
It is unfortunate because fighters like Deron Winn and Ricky Palacios earned wins in fights that were good and seemed evenly matched. However, the theme seems to be concern and questions on how Liddell got in there and reasons it should never happen again.
When Liddell lost, he posted the following on social media; “Come home with your shield or on it!”
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Come home with your shield or on it! Train, live and fight like a warrior. I wish I had performed better tonight for all the incredible people who came to support me. I came up against all odds and I trained like a beast. My only regret is the friends and family that I wanted to win for. I love all of you!❤️ I will be at Nightingale tonight to celebrate before I head to my friend s house for an epic after party. Thank you so much for all the love and support. #fighterlife #liddell #iceman #liddellstyle #familyfirst #honor
The thing that separates those that watch MMA or train at a weekend warrior’s capacity to the fighters that actually drop everything to do it is their drive and focus to compete. It is easier to point out why Liddell should not have fought and should not fight again but ask any fighter about retirement and the decision never comes easy nor does the choice remain an option if they get the itch to fight again.
Michael Jordan announced his retirement three times before making it stick and it seems in combat sports, hanging up the gloves is harder than it looks for the man that wears them. Ortiz announced his retirement on ESPN the Monday after the event and he has gone out on a win, but his win over Chael Sonnen was supposed to be his last fight too in January of 2017.
More times than not, when the itch comes back to aging fighters to keep on fighting they usually get reminded as to why they retired and go out on their shields. There is something both cool and tragic about that but the topic is hot this week because everyone watched just as bad as Liddell and Ortiz wanted to fight.
The fight business is a bloodthirsty game and everyone wants to play it in some capacity, even when they walk away.