Chuck Liddell quit fighting nearly seven years ago, but don’t ever say never on a comeback.
“The Iceman” left the Octagon following UFC 115 with an overall record of 21-8, having knocked out 13 of his 21 victims. He was a former light heavyweight champion and immediately enshrined in the UFC Hall of Fame.
But would the 47-year-old fighter ever consider a comeback? Never say never, according to his longtime coach and friend John Hackleman.
“Just like when they first wanted him to quit, and he wanted to keep fighting, everybody was thinking I was trying to push him to keep fighting, which isn’t true. But like I always said, it’s whatever is in his heart,” Hackleman said during a recent hypothetical discussion on the Anik & Florian Podcast. “And plus, 3 million bucks? Who is gonna tell someone, ‘No. I’m not going to allow you to make $3 million?’ Which is more than most people make in three lifetimes.”
Obviously, if Liddell ever considered a comeback, he wouldn’t be returning to the deep end of the pool. Nearing 50 years of age, no matter what shape he’s in, Liddell isn’t likely to take a run at the likes of Jon Jones, Daniel Cormier, Alexander Gustafsson, and Jimi Manuwa.
“It would all depend upon – this sounds so bad – but it would depend on the match. It would all depend on the match. I’m not gonna name who I would let him fight. Well, it’s not up to me to let him fight or not, but who I would okay (for him to fight) and who I wouldn’t.
“But even $3 million, I don’t think that would be enough to put his life at risk and his legacy at risk. Because his legacy, not only for his own self-esteem, but his legacy for his future earnings, as well, could be worth a hell of a lot more than $3 million. And tarnishing it to a certain degree, that might not be worth it. So it would all depend on the opponent.”
So, while it may be fun to fantasize, and Liddell has always packed the power that makes him a factor in any fight at any time, don’t expect the Iceman to cometh. But never say never.