Loretta Hunt’s latest interview with longtime Chuck Liddell trainer John Hackleman gives hope that Liddell and Wanderlei Silva might be matched up after all:
Last week, Hackleman had intonated his star pupil was in line to fight Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at Dec. 29’s UFC 79 in Las Vegas, Nev., a fight he’d told UFC brass Liddell (20-5) would take. Rua was another casualty of UFC 76, when he was systematically dismantled by Forrest Griffin, succumbing to exhaustion and a rear-naked choke in the third round’s final seconds. Rua has since undergone surgery for a torn knee ligament and has been added to a growing disabled list that also includes current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
“We though it was going to be ‘Shogun,’” Hackleman said, “but now instead of saying ‘no’ to Wanderlei [Silva], they’re saying maybe. We’ve wanted Wanderlei all along. When I told Chuck [it was still a possibility], he was almost as excited about it as when he found out he was fighting Tito [Ortiz].”
I have to admit now that a few weeks have passed since Chuck’s loss to Keith Jardine, I’m feeling a lot better about a Liddell-Silva matchup. So much that I’m getting that feeling in my stomach when thinking about it. UFC 79 has the possibility to be absolutely huge. Matt Hughes vs Matt Serra and all of the trash talking that has gone on for the title. Liddell-Silva maybe. B.J. Penn against either Sean Sherk or Joe Stevenson. Plus some of the other names that have been rumored for the card. Huge.
The two being paired together will easily cause both fighters to train like never before. Chuck could perform a lot better than expected. Remember after his loss to Couture at UFC 43, his next fight was Tito Ortiz of all people. Maybe a fight against Keith Jardine coming off a loss really didn’t do it for Chuck.
Please make Liddell-Silva happen.