Chuck Liddell was one of the greatest champions in the history of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). As the 205-pound strap owner, he defended his belt four consecutive times, during a two-plus year period where he went undefeated.
"The Iceman" was a pioneer, who held a cult-like following of mixed martial arts (MMA) fans who swore by his legend. Some of them even cut their hair like him, mimicking his trademark mohawk.
But "Father Time" caught up with Liddell, as he does, ever so cruelly, with us all.
During a three-year stretch, Liddell painfully dropped five of his last six fights; four of which came by way of (technical) knockout. It was hard to watch, and when UFC President Dana White finally forced him to hang up the eight-ounce gloves, there were few who objected to the decision.
Liddell recently did an interview with "UFC Tonight," where he discussed that decision, as well as what life is like for him after professional fighting. He's comfortable being a father, a businessman and a fight fan. He's in no hurry to step back into the Octagon, but there is one fight he'd seriously consider coming out of retirement for.
The answer may surprise you:
"The only thing that would even make me think about it is if they gave me a shot at the title. So, we'll see. For now? Yeah. Jon Jones. I don't wanna come back as a sideshow. It's just one of those things. It's not something I wanna do."
Liddell went on to comment about "Bones" and the current tear he's been on, as he continues to carve notches into his belt for every big name he puts down in the Light Heavyweight division.
Chuck was highly complimentary, but he was honest about the possibility of Jones eventually meeting his match:
"I'll never say never. Not in this sport. Anybody can lose at any time. If he keeps doing what he does, he's gonna be hard to beat if he keeps doing what he's doing. He follows his game plan. He trains hard. He keeps learning. He's young and he's athletic and a great athlete. He's a great guy. He's gonna be hard to beat, but I'm never gonna say no one's gonna beat him."
Finally, Liddell explained his thought process behind calling it quits, once and for all. It wasn't easy for him to walk away, and he believes he could have stuck around longer, if he'd wanted to and had made some changes. Ultimately, he just didn't feel like he'd enjoy fighting, if he had to make the necessary adjustments to his skill set:
"You know, it was a hard decision to make, to retire, but it wasn't like I couldn't compete with guys. I can't quite take a punch like I used to and I didn't wanna change my style. I could start wrestling and try to control guys, but then I still got the chance of getting hit hard. It just wasn't the way I wanted to fight. I fought so many years, and I wanted to go out fighting the way I like to fight: exciting and fun."
If we're being honest, we can all probably admit that there's basically zero chance that a Jon Jones vs. Chuck Liddell match up would ever happen, but if it did, would you pay to see it?
How about you "Iceman" fans? Would you like to see him get one more chance at a farewell victory, or should he stay retired, no matter what?