It is official. Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell will face off against "The
Axe Murderer" Wanderlei Silva on December 29, 2007. It is a long
awaited match up that has been rumored to happen again, and again, over
the years but the UFC has made it official. Both fighters are coming
off two consecutive losses but despite their recent slides both are
still marquee names in the sport. It is ironic that after all this wait
for a match-up that at times seemed a fleeting dream will not even be
the main event on the card. The main event is currently Matt Hughes vs.
Matt Serra in a welterweight championship match! What a difference a
Wanderlei Silva is coming off two consecutive knockout losses to Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic and Dan Henderson respectively. Some question his mental fortitude coming into this bout but you have to remember this is the man who defeated current UFC champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson two times.
Chuck Liddell has also lost two fights in a row, one in a championship loss to Quinton Jackson and the other in a major upset to Keith Jardine. Some are wondering if the end is near for the "Iceman" and 3 consecutive losses for either fighter could be a huge setback.
Quinton Jackson's manager Juanito Ibarra has made it well known that he would like another shot at Silva despite the aforementioned two previous losses to the former Pride Champion. You would have to think that with a win over Liddell he could put himself on the fast track to the title in a fight I am sure both would be happy with.
If Liddell wins, while a title shot would be far fetched coming off two losses, it could put him back in the picture as Silva would be a huge victory for anyone's MMA resume. Anyway you cut it this could be one of the most anticipated fights of the year despite their recent slides. Remember when Liddell fought in the Pride tournament in 2003? If memory serves me correctly, Dana White put down 100,000 dollars of his own money on Liddell against Silva in a bet with the president of Pride at the time. Liddell lost to Jackson so the fight never happened, but I wonder if he would be willing to make the same bet now?