Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva UFC 79 by aihaozhe2

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									Having a hard time picking a winner on this one! There is an interesting background
to it all. This fight has been in the works since early `06 and likely prior to that, we
just do not know about. It has the makings of a great war and hopefully can live up to
the hype!

Back in July 2006 at UFC 61 Dana introduces Silva to the UFC crowd and brings him
in the cage. This is prior to the whole Pride purchase so this was a huge event at the
time as there was always question as to which organization had the better fighters.
Wandy gets the mic and says he wants to the fight the best in the UFC, i.e. Mr. Iceman,
so in comes Chuck and they have a little stare down. The announcement was for the
fight to be in November with one stipulation, Chuck had to beat Renato Sobral
'Babalu' in August and retain his title.

*Side note: Babalu got fired from UFC for not relinquishing a choke hold in a later
fight after the ref told him to stop when his opponent tapped, serves him right!*

August came and went and Babalu, a Jiu-Jitsu black belt tries to go toe to toe with
Chuck. As expected he took a little nap in the ring and now the fight with Silva should
be a go for November, except for one big problem. Cro-Cop kicked Wanderlie in the
head with bad intentions in September at the Pride Open Weight tourney. Now, I do
not know if he got hurt but the fight never happened. There were a lot of reasons
floating around, but who knows for sure which one is true. Either way does not matter.
Fight was off, and appeared to be off forever. Rumors came and went but then UFC
owners, the Ferttitas, bought Pride. What a great move setting up the best against the
best! So, lots of stuff has happened but the fight is now on for Dec 29!!!

I usually have a gut feeling who I think will win but this time I am not sure. Both
fighters have lost their last 2 fights. Wandy got KO'd twice (Henderson & Cro Cop),
Chuck got rocked by Rampage and then lost a brutal fight to The Dean of Mean Keith
Jardine. The mental game has to be a factor now. These guys are used to having their
hands raised so 2 losses in a row has to affect them mentally, it can't not! Chuck has
even gone so far as to seek help from Tony Robbins to help him get his fire back as he
really looked lack luster against Jardine. More than just a couple of guys who want to
prove them selves this is a career fight for both of them. Someone walks away with
their record showing L-L-L and that is going kill main event status and title
contention for a very long time. The winner however jumps up the ranks. So, if the
stress of losing two fights prior was not enough, throw that into the mix for them!

Chuck's record is 20 - 5. Using 2003 as a cut off he is 8 - 4. I use 2003 as to be an
indicator of the more recent performance as all fighters evolve in their career. I see a
lot of wrestlers in that list of opponents. He lost to Randy Couture once who is proven
to be a hall of famer over and over again. He fights him 2 more time and knocks him
out both times. He put Tito to sleep 2 times. Looks to me like he has the wrestlers
figured out, except one. Quinton Jackson. Like Iceman has Tito's number, Jackson has
Chucks. He has 2 straight losses to Rampage, both by KO. The rest of his fights are
against some good fighters but not top tier by any means. The stand out is the fight
against Jardine. No doubt that was a tune up match for him that UFC expected him to
use to get back on his feet after losing the belt to Rampage. Well, that sure back fired.
He lost a decision and that sets him back, way back in the rankings! Lucky for him he
is likely the most famous UFC fighter around and after 2 straight losses he still gets a
co-main event for his third fight. I am not sure there are many fighters that would get
that chance from the UFC. Correction, there are none.

The name Quinton Jackson comes up again when you look at Wandy's record. Except
it's the other way around, Silva has KO'd Rampage 2 times! Like they say, it's all
about styles. This by no way, shape, or form confirms he can beat Chuck, but it is an
interesting stat! Silva is 10 - 4 since 2003 with quite a list of opponents. Most notable
wins over Sakuraba, Jackson, Arona, & Fujita. I saw Fujita beat Bob Sapp (google
him and look at how immense Sapp is at 350lbs of muscle) and impressed how he just
manhandled a complete monster in SAPP. I was even more impressed when Silva got
the TKO over him. A big difference in the Pride world is they end up fighting guys
who are way bigger in the open weight tourneys. When Wanderlei fought Mark Hunt
he was at an 80lb weight disadvantage but he went the distance in the fight but lost
the decision. Was felt by many he deserved the win given the huge size difference.
His four losses come from Hunt, Arona, Henderson, and Cro Cop. If your going to
lose 4 fights, those are the guys to help you do it.

As much as I want to say Silva had better competition to face it is a bold statement
given Chuck put down Couture two times. I will say that Couture's stand up is not as
good as Silva and that Chuck has an edge over the wrestlers as he is very good at
standing when he is taken down. I have yet to see him be held down. That alone is
impressive. Silva is not a wrestler but a BJJ black belt and a gifted stand up fighter
with awesome knees. Take the BJJ out of the equation though, they want to slug it out,
no way it'll be a ground fight. The cage comes into play as Silva is used to a ring,
sounds like a small thing, but it is a mental barrier for guys to over come. Silva has
moved to Florida and trains at Extreme Couture (trained there with Ray!) so I am sure
he is ready for the adjustment. Both guys want to redeem themselves after 2 losses.

Silva - 2nd round.

								
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