Hackleman sat down with Mr. Sunshine for 15 minutes. He guaranteed that Liddell is NOT retiring. And that the next fight versus either Shogun Rua or Wanderlei Silva is already in the works for UFC 79 in Las Vegas in December. Hackleman has also discussed the Shogun fight with Rua’s management.
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Other topics Hackleman covered:
*MMA fighters will have more losses than boxers. There are no easy fights.
*He didn’t think Liddell won the fight against Jardine
*He mentioned there were some personal issues for Liddell that got in the way of him being 100% right for the fight. That said, he did give Jardine tons of credit as a great fighter
*He repeated again that leg kicks were not the big key to the victory and said Liddell did work on stopping leg kicks
*He responded to media members, like our buddy Sam Caplan, who felt strongly that Liddell’s defense against leg kicks was lousy. He calls Caplan a moron.
*Said Dana White had a valid point when he questioned Liddell’s hunger, saying that the IceMan is a different fighter now having to deal with money, adulation and the press responsibilities.
* Hackleman said Liddell will be back in the gym this Monday
FUTURE FIGHT UPDATE — SHOGUN RUA OUT WITH INJURY:
UFCMania.com is reporting this:
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua will undergo surgery to repair a knee injury that the Brazilian sustained prior to his submission loss to Forrest Griffin at UFC 76: “Knockout” in his Octagon debut on September 22, according to an article in Gazeta Do Povo.
Here’s a poorly translated snip from Shogun:
“I go to operate this knee in sixth and must be without training for next the three months. For what I talked with the Rudimar master (Fedrigo), I only come back to fight in January or February.”
Considering that most top-level fighters compete on average every three to four months this news is not that bad. It also doesn’t sound too serious if he expect to return to action in about 90 days.
However, a fight with former light heavyweight Chuck Liddell in December now seems out of the question (and that’s good if you ask me … bring on Wanderlei Silva once and for all).