It has taken him some time but former light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell has finally responded to some comments made by UFC president and close friend Dana White.
Liddell told Fighters Only Magazine that he was unfazed by statements made by White which insinuated that Liddell needed to win impressively against former Pride superstar Mauricio “Shogun” Rua next Saturday at UFC 97. The card which will be held in Montreal is headlined by a middleweight championship bout between number one contender Thales Leites and champion Anderson Silva.
White went on record not so long ago as saying that he did not want to see Liddell get hurt and that he not only needed to win against Rua but had to be impressive in doing so otherwise it may be time for Liddell to hang up his gloves. Liddell also went on to say that he was planning on performing as he always has and that he was hopeful that was enough to keep White interested in him as a fighter.
White and Liddell began their relationship long before White was the president of the UFC. White was not only Liddell’s manager but Tito Ortiz‘s as well. The two remain very close and have been synonymous with the success of the UFC. Liddell went on to say that he doesn’t see any reason to worry about any other fight than the one that he has in front of him and that he has a tough opponent and remains focused on his task at hand.
Liddell has lost three of his past four fights with two of them coming by brutal knockout to former light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and current title holder Rashad Evans. He also lost a split decision to Keith Jardine while winning an exciting unanimous decision in an all-out war against Wanderlei Silva.
Rua’s debut in the UFC came with no shortage of excitement nor fanfare but he turned in an unimpressive performance in losing via third round submission to Forrest Griffin. His cardio was virtually non-existent and he showed none of the skills that made him one of the most feared strikers during his days in the Pride organization. He went on the have knee surgery and was out for almost a year and a half. He returned in January of this year and defeated 44 year old Mark Coleman in a sloppy fight that also saw Rua lose steam early in the bout. This fight is very important for him as the UFC has no room for unproductive fighters.