MMA at its highest levels is less than 20 years old, but it's starting to struggle with the dilemma boxing has faced for years. How do you tell old fighters that it's time to hang up the gloves? One way is for promoters to pass on making the easy buck. Dana White certainly isn't hard up for money and the business has never been stronger. He's no Don King grasping at straws as he watches bigtime boxing from the outside looking in.
White tried to do what he thought was best for Liddell following his 2009 fight against Mauricio Rua. Then he gave him one more chance against Rich Franklin. The result was another knockout loss. Liddell fought well, but his defensive limitation, one-dimensional and advanced are putting him at danger against top-level fighters. In some regards he's damaging his legacy. He has to see that, right? It's doesn't look like it. During this sitdown with Canada's Sportsnet, Liddell claims there's plenty of cash out there to be made (2:00 mark).
"If (White) decided he doesn't want me to fight — his decision as a friend and not as a promoter," said Liddell. "As a promoter he can still make money on me fighting. Get those big-money fights for him out there."
We were big backers of Liddell getting one final shot, but after this most recent loss at UFC 115, what's left? How do you promote a guy who's lost five-of-six fights and look the fans straight in the eye? Can you name three fights you'd like to see involving Liddell? For the life of me, I can't name one right now that gets the juices flowing.
Liddell makes it sound like the issue is still up for discussion.
"So when we have a talk I know he's got serious concerns," said Liddell. "If I decide I want to fight still, I have to convince him that I can and I'm able. And it's not going to hurt my health. That's probably most what he'd be worried about. We'll talk, we're going to figure it out."
Liddell said he won't consider fighting elsewhere, but he may have to. Who sees White backing down this time?
- Dana White