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22nd May 2018

Chuck Liddell’s coach’s reaction to Jon Jones simply being mentioned tells you everything

Really says it all

Ben Kiely

Chuck Liddell

Chuck Liddell has announced that he’s coming out of retirement.

One of the first poster boys of the UFC, Chuck Liddell, intends on making a comeback in his late 40s. He proclaimed the news eight years after hanging up his gloves ‘for good’ following three successive knockout losses.

‘The Iceman’ wants to complete the trilogy against rival Tito Ortiz, although his return is not dependent on ‘The Huntington Beach Bad Boy’s involvement. Liddell knocked out Ortiz in both of their blockbuster bouts in 2004 and 2006 respectively. There are rumbling’s that Oscar de la Hoya may promote the bout under Golden Boy’s supposed move into MMA.

Liddell’s longtime coach, John Hackleman gave his take on the planned return on the MMA Hour. He doesn’t approve, but that being said, he will support any decision Liddell makes.

“I don’t want him to fight anymore. But, with that said, if he does and he really has to do it in his heart, then I’m behind him 100%.”

No more concerns than usual

Hackleman is uncertain whether he’s part of Liddell’s return plans or not. He confessed that Liddell ‘knows’ his stance on it, but he’s willing to help him if he asks.

“I’ll do 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. But, if it was my choice, I’d say, ‘Hey, stay retired and let’s go hang out in Hawaii this year.'”

There were understandable safety concerns surrounding Liddell’s announcement. He’s 48 and everyone’s last fight memory of him is being rendered unconscious by Rich Franklin. However, Hackleman doesn’t appear to share these concerns.

“I have safety and health concerns about everybody fighting, but not him more than others. 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 camps. He hasn’t had a lot of knockouts, so that’s not what I worry about for him specifically. I just worry about that for all my fighters. I want them all to be safe.”

Get your GOAT

Part of the backlash to Liddell’s announcement was him indicating that he wanted to fight Jon Jones, arguably the greatest fighter to ever grace an Octagon. So, Ariel Helwani felt obliged to drop that name to Hackleman.

“Does it make you feel any better considering the success that he’s had against Tito Ortiz that that could be the guy that he’s returning against, that at least it’s not… oh I don’t know, Jon Jones, who he mentioned?”

Chuck Liddell

There were a couple of seconds of delay before the penny dropped. Hackleman nearly spat out his drink with laughter.

“That was brutal, bro. That was uncalled for. Oh my God! Don’t go there! That was a bit much.”

It seems as though everybody except Liddell knows how terrible that idea is.