At 48 years of age, former UFC light heavyweight champion and Hall-of-Fame inductee Chuck Liddell recently decided to come out of retirement. It is an idea that most observers are not being optimistic about.
During Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour, Liddell’s long-time coach spoke about the possibility of “The Iceman’s” return. While he is also personally against the idea, he would not be the one to say no to it, as well.
“I don’t like it, at all,” Hackleman told Ariel Helwani (via MMA Fighting). “In fact, I don’t like any of my fighters to fight. I wish they were all just training at my gym and were having fun, and that’s what I started The Pit for back in 1985 and I never want anyone to fight. To me, it’s not fun, never has been.”
“So, I don’t want him to fight anymore. But with that said, if he does [want to fight again] and he really has to do it in his heart, then I’m behind him 100 percent.”
“I’ll do whatever Chuck needs,” he continued. “Whatever Chuck needs in his heart, if he wants me to come work with him for the fight, if he wants me to work his corner — if he wants me to do both, then I’ll do both.”
The main concern that people have for Liddell has been about his health, considering he lost his last three fights via knockout. But for Hackleman, it is actually the least of his worries.
“I have safety and health concerns about everybody fighting, but not him more than others,” Hackleman said. “I mean, he was stopped in a few of his last fights, but to be honest, most boxers get stopped that many times in any given training camp, especially in the old days when sparring was much more full-on and much more prevalent in training camp.”
“He hasn’t had a lot of knockouts, so that’s not what I worry about for him specifically,” Hackleman said of Liddell, who lost six of his eight fights via knockout. “I just worry about that for all of my fighters, because I want them all to be safe.”
Liddell (21-8, with 16 wins by knockout) ended his 12-year professional MMA run with a first-round knockout loss to Rich Franklin at UFC 115 in June 2010. Prior to that, he also lost via KO and TKO against Rashad Evans and Mauricio Rua in 2008 and 2009, respectively.