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MMA Squared Historical: Chuck Liddell’s final UFC fight

A new take on MMA history, using the lens of art history to understand how great narratives persist throughout time.

Chris Rini, MMA Squared, MMA History, UFC 115, Chuck Liddell, Rich Franklin, UFC PPVs, Conor McGregor

I’ve always wanted to make images of MMA that draw from art history to add to the story behind each fight. Here we have Chuck Liddell moments after his last fight in the UFC ended in a knockout loss to Rich Franklin.

It’s based on the Classical Greek sculpture Boxer at Rest, which comes from a period in Greek art where there is a movement away from idealised heroic depictions of the body and youth, and an exploration of emotional themes and greater realism.” At this moment in Liddell’s career, he too, is no longer the granite-chinned champion and the face of an entire sport. The full arc of his career has already been traversed and he no longer stares dead into the eyes of his opponent or into the lens of a camera intimidating the viewer; his gaze is averted towards an uncertain future where he is no longer a fighter.

I hope you enjoyed this new direction of Mixed Martial Art History. Take care of yourself and I’ll talk to you tomorrow. Chris.

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