Mailbag: Chuck’s mystery video

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LAS VEGAS – There’s still no official word whether the, ahem, workout Chuck Liddell was doing in the nude with girlfriend Heidi Northcott at St. Louis Cardinals’ Brad Penny’s home is part of some sort of marketing campaign.

Yet, several days after the grainy video of the former Ultimate Fighting Championship star and his girlfriend exercising in the nude hit the Internet, there’s still no company stepping forward to claim it.

And Liddell, who claims the video is legitimate, hardly seemed upset by its release, even though if it’s legitimate, he would have been the victim of a crime.

Asked about it, Liddell shrugged and said he’d call his daughter to tell her about it, since she searches the Internet for his name every day. Beyond that, though, “The Iceman” lived up to his name and was cool as can be.

“I was staying at a buddy’s house and we thought it would be funny to go work out,” Liddell said. “I don’t know why the [expletive] they would do that.”

He was asked if he knew who shot it.

“There was no one else at the house,” Liddell said. “There was no one staying there. My buddy’s out of town. It was at Brad’s house, Brad Penny. We were just staying at his house. He has a private gym. You walk past his pool and there’s a private gym. We go into the sauna all the time and there’s a hot tub right there.

“It’s not a big deal. We’ve never had a problem. I’m more worried about Heidi. Well, she’s cool about it and isn’t getting too upset. She’s not real happy about it. I’m not happy about it. Well, I’m not real shy. My kids can see it and that’s the part, explaining it, that’s hard.” I suspect we’ll hear more about this before too long. But with that, let’s delve into this week’s very busy mixed martial arts mailbag.

Rashad over ‘Rampage?’
I don’t agree with the assessment of the upcoming Quinton “Rampage” Jackson-Rashad Evans fight (UFC 114 on May 29 in Las Vegas). Evans has made a career out of doing what people think he can’t do, from his defeat of Greg Jones while at Michigan State to his current activities in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He probably won’t be caught smoking and being way over weight. Evans is intelligent, methodical and has a great attitude towards training and learning. From the time he was on “The Ultimate Fighter,” he has continually surprised everyone.

Mark Kaufman

If “Rampage” comes into the fight hungry and in shape, then I definitely favor him to win, which is no slight against Rashad. I agree that you know what you’re going to get with Rashad. He’s going to be in shape. He’s going to be prepared. He’s going to have a good game plan. “Rampage” is more of a wild card. Assuming both men enter the cage at their best, I think “Rampage” is stronger and more physically skilled and will get the win. But I have great respect for Rashad and would not in any way be shocked if he won.

WEC’s future
If WEC 48 (April 24 in Sacramento, Calif.) bombs in pay-per-view sales, what will happen? Is it possible that the World Extreme Cagefighting and UFC would merge? Adding another two weight classes could really help the UFC avoid these title fight droughts and it would get a lot of these amazing fighters real exposure.

Donovan Loreman

On paper, WEC 48 has a great card, with Jose Aldo defending the featherweight title against Urijah Faber, a rematch between Benson Henderson and Donald Cerrone for the lightweight championship and former featherweight champion Mike Brown meeting Manny Gamburyan. But what are expectations for the sales on this? I think it does around 100,000, maybe 150,000. Is that a bomb? For the first time out, I don’t think so. But in any event, I don’t think the WEC will merge with the UFC, even though I like the idea. WEC general manager Reed Harris, matchmaker Sean Shelby and UFC matchmaker Joe Silva are all strongly against it.