Hi everyone, today we're looking at Chuck Liddell, former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, who takes on the former Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin this Saturday in Vancouver. The main event of UFC 115, Liddell was supposed to fight fellow Ultimate Fighter coach Tito Ortiz, but Ortiz was forced to drop out of bout for unknown reasons.
So how does this new match up suit the Iceman? Not well. Coming off of more than a year hiatus, Liddell will be facing a much younger fighter, and a former title holder at that. Looking at his last few fights, it really seems as if Liddell's best years are behind him. In his last fight, he was Knocked Out by current 205 pound champion Mauricio Shogun Rua in the first round.
Before that, he suffered KO defeats at the hands of Rashad Evans and Quinton Rampage Jackson. It seems like the Knockout artist we came to know and love is now being beaten at his own game. As his speed and power seem to fade, he was unable to finish off a struggling Wanderlei Silva back in 2007, and even lost to journeyman fighter Keith Jardine by Split Decision.
While everyone hopes for the Old Chuck to return to the cage, I fear that an Old Chuck is all we're going to get this saturday. Rich Franklin is a remarkably well-rounded fighter, and is famous for his unparallelled physical conditioning. While Franklin hasn't demonstrated the KO power to finish off top tier opponents, against an aging Hall of Famer, the fight is his to lose.
I predict Rich Franklin will beat Chuck Liddell by Unanimous Decision based on superiour offensive volume and physical conditioning.