Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell announced his retirement after being knocked out by former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin at UFC 115 in June 2010.
According to longtime trainer John Hackleman, the former champion could return to action if he were offered the right opponent.
“Just like when they first wanted him to quit and he wanted to keep fighting, everybody was thinking I was trying to push him to keep fighting, which isn’t true. But like I always said, it’s whatever is in his heart. 3 million bucks? Who is gonna tell someone, ‘No. I’m not gonna allow you to make $3 million, which is more than most people make in three lifetimes.’ It would all depend upon – this sounds so bad. Seriously, the people who know me know what a terrible mother hen I am when it comes to matching my fighters, but it would depend on the match. It would all depend on the match. I’m not gonna name who I would let him fight – well, it’s not up to me to let him fight or not – but who I would okay and who I wouldn’t,” Hackleman said on The Anik & Florian Podcast.
Liddell isn’t signed to a deal with any MMA organization at the moment, as the UFC released him a few weeks after the takeover from WME-IMG.
Hackleman would support his longtime friend if he chose to return, but even the legendary trainer believes that it may not be worth it in the end.
“But even $3 million, I don’t think that would be enough to put his life at risk and his legacy at risk. Because his legacy, not only for his own self-esteem but his legacy for his future earnings as well, could be worth a hell of a lot more than $3 million and tarnishing it to a certain degree, that might not be worth it. So it would all depend on the opponent,” says Hackleman.
The former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion has yet to comment on a potential MMA return or even a potential organization that he would fight in.