MMANews.com Exclusive With Chuck Liddell On Upcoming Fights
MMAnews.com Chuck Liddell Exclusive Interview on Injury, Trip to Europe, Rampage and Anderson Silva
By Jon Gorajski
June 27nd 2008
In the circus of events that took over the UFC 85 event, former UFC Light-Heavyweight champion Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell was scheduled to fight Mauricio "Shogun" Rua. Due to an injury he was pulled from the card and replaced with Rashad Evans. Chuck was eventually pulled from the card himself due to his own hamstring injury. Over the weekend during The Ultimate Fighter Finale, "The Iceman" was nice enough to give MMANEWS.COM an exclusive interview with Jon Gorajski.
MMANEWS.COM: Thank you for taking the time to speak exclusively with us today. How is your injured hamstring?
Chuck Liddell: It's working pretty well right now. I'm back in training and I'm very excited about it. I've been working out since I got hurt it's just that I wasn't able to do everything I wanted to do. I had to work around the injury. I wasn't able to spar or wrestle at all. I was just doing mainly my strength and conditioning.
MMANEWS.COM: Would you say your health right now is at 100%?
Chuck Liddell: Yeah I would say I'm hoping to be close to 100%. As long as nothing happens to it, I'll be fine. I have been swimming and rowing. The last few weeks I've been hitting the bags and started sparring and wrestling a little bit. I feel good and am starting up training camp soon. It's going good!
MMANEWS.COM: How are things and training with John Hackleman and "The Pit"?
Chuck Liddell: Pit is doing great! Still have the same group of guys that I've been working hard with.
MMANEWS.COM: You were in Europe last week, was that more business or pleasure?
Chuck Liddell: Yeah I was out there to see UFC 85 and I had this Europe trip planned since before my injury. I just got back this week and am ready to go!
MMANEWS.COM: Looking back at UFC 85 two weeks ago the main event changed about 4 times and you and Rashad Evans were both part of that. Now that it looks like the match will happen again at UFC 88, September 6th in Atlanta how are you feeling about it?
Chuck Liddell: I'm very exciting about it. I'm happy to be back in the cage and getting a fight going!
MMANEWS.COM: Were you upset at all that it wasn't Shogun Rua for your opponent?
Chuck Liddell: No, I was happy with the decision. I was offered Shogun but he wouldn't be ready `til November or December. That was the main thing I didn't want to wait that long for my next fight. Rashad's a tough opponent it'll be a great fight.
MMANEWS.COM: How will you be preparing against Rashad, will you be doing anything different?
Chuck Liddell: No, I'll be training the same as I have before. I was in good shape before my injury. Now things are going real good. I'm looking forward to a great fight.
MMANEWS.COM: With a potential win over Rashad how do close do you think you are to getting a title shot?
Chuck Liddell: After I beat Rashad I think I deserve the next title shot.
MMANEWS.COM: Any predictions on the UFC 86 main event with Quinton Jackson and Forrest Griffin?
Chuck Liddell: I think it's gonna be a good fight. Don't count Forrest out. I think he has a great chance of beating Rampage.
MMANEWS.COM: Recently announced by Anderson Silva he'll be moving up in weight class from 185 to fight James Irvin at 205. With the UFC Light-heavyweight class so deep with talent how do you think he will fair in the division?
Chuck Liddell: Anderson Silva is a tough fighter. If anyone can move up and do it I think he could do it. It's another 20 lbs to him, so it's a big jump. I think there are a lot of good fights for him at 205.
MMANEWS.COM: Would you every welcome a fight between yourself and Silva?
Chuck Liddell: Sure, it could be a good fight but I think I'm too big for him. He's a tough fighter and I have all the respect in the world for him but I think I'd be too much for him.
MMANEWS.COM: I know you've briefly talked about it before but would yourself ever entertain the thought of moving up in weight class?
Chuck Liddell: Yeah, I have talked about that a bunch of times, when I get done with what I wanna do at Light-heavyweight I'll be looking to move up in the weight class.
MMANEWS.COM: How much of an impact do you think Lorenzo Fertitta will have now that he has resigned from Station Casinos and devote his energies more with the UFC?
Chuck Liddell: Well, he's a good business man. I think he'll help out and it'll work. He has always been behind the scenes it's just now he'll be able to concentrate more on the UFC.
MMANEWS.COM: Are there any fighters you enjoy watching inside or out of the UFC?
Chuck Liddell: Oh yeah, I like watching a bunch of em. I mainly like watching all my friends fights. Anderson Silva is one I like and BJ Penn is also fun to watch.
MMANEWS.COM: If you could have an open weight fight with anyone in the world who would it be?
Chuck Liddell: I'd really like to get a shot at Fedor; I think I match up well with him.
MMANEWS.COM: With your successful UFC career and a record of 21-5 were there any fights you would like to do over?
Chuck Liddell: I've had a lot of tough fights. The ones I've lost have been pretty tough on me. But my last fight with Rampage I would like to do over and I think I'll be able to beat him next time.
MMANEWS.COM: Any sponsors you would like to mention?
Chuck Liddell: MMAJACKED
MMANEWS.COM: Thanks for your time Chuck and congratulations on your recent engagement! We wish you the best of luck and look forward to your fight against Rashad Evans at UFC 88
Chuck Liddell: Thanks a lot.
Jon does great work on special projects for MMANews.com and is based out of Chicago. If you are interested in having him cover your MMA related event, news item or interview, please contact him at his email: Badluck33@aol.com