The UFC LightHeavyweight division is THE best division in all of MMA. Many new faces have emerged since this time last year…with a few fighter’s with familiar names are no longer present. As we all know the UFC’s HW division is lacking something terrible. The one guy(Brandon Vera) they were pushing hard just lost back to back fights(albeit the 2nd one was controversial) and has now moved down to the LHW division. Zuffa needs a star at HW and Chuck Liddell is the man for the job. Below are a list of possible match-ups at LHW….followed by a list of match-ups Liddell has at HW.
#1. Chuck Liddell vs. Forrest Griffin-If Liddell gets by Rashad Evans at UFC 88…this is more than likely going to be his next fight(no matter how much I disagree with it). It would feature two of the UFC’s poster boy’s that would do good #’s on the PPV side of things. It would also give Liddell the opportunity to become champion of the LHW division once again.
#2 Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva II-The first fight was a standup war…and I’m sure the second bout would be no different.
#3. Chuck Liddell vs. Rampage Jackson III-Rampage already has two very decisive wins over Liddell and personally I wouldn’t care to see a third match. However, I’m sure the UFC hype machine could somehow promote a 3rd match…especially if Liddell became champ again. But then again, since Rampage mauls him everytime time…I’m not sure they’d book that one at that point.
#4. Chuck Liddell vs. Lyoto Machida-Realistically, nobody wants to see this fight because it would be the battle of two counter-striker’s. However, if Machida keeps winning it’s inevitable that Liddell will face him at some point unless he moves up to HW.
#5. Chuck Liddell vs. Keith Jardine II-Since Wanderlei Silva just ran through Jardine like a bottle of grandma’s castor oil…all the luster of this re-match is gone. Jardine beat Liddell decisively in the first match(yes, the judges sucked in that one as well).
Honorable Mention-Liddell/Thiago Silva…however, Silva a bit overrated in my honest opinion…he must fight some upper tier guy’s before I put him on the list.
Matches at Heavyweight
#1. Chuck Liddell vs. Brock Lesnar-This match-up is THE biggest PPV draw that the UFC could put together right now. The buyrate would be extraordinary…especially if Lesnar gets by Heath Herring next month. All the wrestling fans that could have possibly alienated Lesnar after losing to Mir would be right back on the bandwagon.
#2. Chuck Liddell vs. Cheick Kongo-A standup war…nothing more…nothing less.
#3. Chuck Liddell vs. Antonio “Big Nog” Nogueira-Nogueira takes TONS of punishment…and would be a classic striker vs. grappler matchup. If Big Nog pulled off the win…he would become an instant star in America.
#4. Chuck Liddell vs. Gabriel Gonzaga-Gonzaga was the next big thing before getting derailed with back to back losses. He has decent standup and is a world class grappler/BJJ guy…and got a big response at the weigh in’s of UFC 86.
#5. Chuck Liddell vs. Shane Carwin-Liddell kills wrestler’s…but would that continue with him fighting at HW? Carwin won his UFC debut via one punch KO…with Liddell aging quickly…this could be a fight for Carwin to make a name for himself…and for Zuffa to build a new star.
Surely, there are some matchups I may have left off…however, if Zuffa put Liddell at HW he would be more beneficial to the company. He’s stated that he is open to moving up in weight so why not make that happen? There are some very intriguing matchups there…THE biggest PPV fight is there…and he could possibly become the only guy beside’s Randy Couture/BJ Penn to hold titles in two weight classes. Furthermore, since he destroyed Couture twice…I think they could throw away that interim description they are currently using with Big Nog.(I know they are using it because of the lawsuit). So unless Zuffa wants to feed us Liddell re-match after re-match, they need to make this move if Rashad Evans beats him at UFC 88.