Despite a crushing defeat at the hands of rival Tito Ortiz, and pushing 50, Chuck Liddell wasn’t ready to address his future in fighting following Liddell vs. Ortiz 3.
Chuck Liddell did not get the return to glory he was looking for on Saturday. In fact, Liddell vs. Ortiz 3 was anything but the “warm up fight” Liddell had referred to it as. Instead, it was a reminder that time away, and time in general, is more than most fighters, even great fighters, can overcome.
Speaking to reporters including Cageside Press following the event, Liddell was forthright about the loss. “Sorry about my performance. It is what it is,” he said. “It happens. Tito came prepared, and I lost. It is what it is. I’m proud of my training camp, the guys did a great job, they got me in great shape, I showed up, no excuses, I was in great shape, ready to go, and he was the better man tonight. There it is.”
There is is indeed. Liddell was once again knocked out, this time by a fighter he’d finished twice before. Yet at age 48, should anyone really be surprised? The only question that remains is whether or not Liddell will hang up the gloves for good. After eight years away and a failed comeback attempt, he probably should — but many, including opponent Ortiz, have suggested he could fight again. Post-fight, Liddell was in a reflective mode, expressing regrets about how he approached the fight. Yet on continuing on, or not, he postponed the decision.
“I don’t want to think about that right now,” Liddell said “I mean, I’m not in the right state of mind to really talk about whether or not I’m done or not. But I felt good out there and I had fun, so we’ll see.”
In terms of his health following the knockout, Liddell said he felt fine, adding he didn’t think it was a bad knockout. “I was able to answer all the questions in the corner right away, when they came up and asked me where you live, where are we, all those questions. I was able to answer them all right away. So I’m fine.”
On whether the two had buried the hatchet after the fight, “I don’t know what to say about that,” Liddell responded. “I respect him. He gets in the ring fights with me. I mean, anybody who gets in the ring and closes the door and fights, I respect them.”