by Jeff Cain and Tom Call, MMAWeekly.com
Before a match up between Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck “Iceman” Liddell and Pride Middleweight Champion “The Axe Murderer” Wanderlei Silva can be finalized, Liddell must first get past Renato “Babalu” Sobral at UFC 62.
Liddell assured MMAWeekly that he was not looking past “Babalu,” but that doesn’t mean he’s not thinking about Wanderlei Silva.
Liddell has stated, “”I think Babalu is a tougher fight for me than Wanderlei.” And Liddell commented, “The possibility of actually getting to fight Wanderlei has actually motivated me to train a little harder to get ready for that fight.”
Clearly Liddell has his sights set on Wanderlei Silva.
Commenting on a possible fight with Wanderlei Silva, Chuck said, “I think Wanderlei is a very tough fighter; don’t get me wrong . . . The thing with Wanderlei is styles make fights. He’s going to come after me, and he’s going to stand and strike with me, and that makes my life easy.”
Liddell entered Pride: “Final Conflict 2003,” the Pride Middleweight Grand Prix, with the sole purpose of having an opportunity to fight Silva. He was defeated in the semifinals by Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, closing the door on the opportunity.
Following his loss to Jackson, Liddell didn’t think a fight with Wanderlei Silva would ever come to fruition, but the landscape of mixed martial arts has changed. The situation exists to make this match up actually happen.
What does it mean to Chuck to have the opportunity to fight Wanderlei Silva?
He said, “For me it’s, without a doubt, that I’m the best in the world at what I do. That’s what we’re here to do. I mean when we’re fighting, that’s why we compete, to be the best. I love fighting. I love what I do, but we’re here to try to prove that we are the best . . . With that fight, without argument, if I knock him out, without argument, I’ll be the best in the world.”
Liddell first has to prove he’s the best in the UFC by defending his title against Renato Sobral August 26th at UFC 62.