T Nation

The Verdict: Liddell VS Jackson

I’m new here but I’m seeing some interest in MMA on these boards. So the question is who does everyone believe will win?

My diagnosis:

I’d like to see Rampage beat Liddell. When I saw the first fight in Pride it looked like Liddell had no answer to Rampage’s style. He beat Liddell to the punch and blocked most of Liddell’s power punches and wasn’t phased by the one he ate. I think in general Rampage is the more well rounded better fighter.

Fast forward 4 years:

It appears Jackson has lost some of what he had 4 years ago and it looks like Liddell has gotten much better. Here is the issue: Jackson faced 3 losses, 1 to probably the best LHW right now in Shogun and 2 to Wanderlai Silva.

Both are top fighters. Liddell hasn’t been beaten, but the question for me is that he hasn’t faced anyone who was any threat. Ortiz has given him is toughest fight since the loss to Rampage, but in no way was ever close to beating Liddell, plus Liddell had the advantage of basically knowing he was going to win that fight (as well as the others).

People had questions whether he would beat Babalu, but regardless Babalu made a stupid choice in the way he fought that fight by rushing in and striking with Chuck. According to Randy he was going through family problems and wasn’t on. He was expected to lose the 3rd fight and the second fight was somewhat questionable.

The Vernon White and Jeremy Horn fights aren’t worth mentioning because they were basicaly put in to give Chuck a W.

Overall I can’t pick a winner in this, but like I said, I’d rather see Jackson win.

I would like to add that Jackson lost to Silva the first time after he destroyed Liddell. Silva had a easier opening fight with Yoshida in that Pride GP.

It goes without saying, after the fight with Jackson that night Liddell would of lost to most people, let alone Silva.

[quote]Fitnessdiva wrote:
Here is the issue: Jackson faced 3 losses, 1 to probably the best LHW right now in Shogun and 2 to Wanderlai Silva.
[/quote]

I initially thought Jackson would beat Silva in a rematch after the first fight because Jackson had a difficult fight against Liddell. I still maintain that Silva on the whole faced very weak competition for being a Champion for several years.

Right now I’m skeptical of Liddell having significantly improved as people say because virtually all of his opponents have been guys he was expected to beat.

[quote]Fitnessdiva wrote:
Here is the issue: Jackson faced 3 losses, 1 to probably the best LHW right now in Shogun and 2 to Wanderlai Silva.

Both are top fighters. Liddell hasn’t been beaten, but the question for me is that he hasn’t faced anyone who was any threat. [/quote]

Chuck gets no respect for knocking Tito & Babalu unconscious four times, yet those two guys hold victories over Wandy/Shogun. Go figure. Heck, Babalu even managed to take the best fighter on the planet (Fedor) to a decision. Chuck deserves mad respect for delivering two highlight-reel KO’s against a guy even Fedor couldn’t finish.

I think Chuck beats people so convincingly that he tarnishes their reputation. Tito, Babalu, & Randy were all considered monsters until Chuck added them to his personal highlight reel. For some reason, whenever a fighter is on the losing end of a one-sided beatdown, people write him off as ‘overrated’ or a ‘bum’. Chuck has turned a lot of very good fighters into ‘overrated bums’.

[quote]Fitnessdiva wrote:

The Vernon White and Jeremy Horn fights aren’t worth mentioning because they were basicaly put in to give Chuck a W.

[/quote]

Matt Serra was put in to give GSP a victory.

Gabe Gonzaga was put in to give Cro Cop a victory.

Thierry Sokoudjou was put in to give Minotoro Nogueira a victory.

Joe Lauzon was put in to give Jens Pulver a victory.

Recent MMA history of full of examples of guys who were brought in to lose scoring the huge upset. Chuck deserves some credit for beating the guys who are put in front of him.

Also, I’ll give you Vernon White, but how could you consider Jeremy Horn an automatic win when he was 1-0 versus Chuck at the time of the fight? You would think that choking Chuck unconscious in their first fight would have earned him a little respect.

[quote]Steve4192 wrote:

Heck, Babalu even managed to take the best fighter on the planet (Fedor) to a decision. Chuck deserves mad respect for delivering two highlight-reel KO’s against a guy even Fedor couldn’t finish.

[/quote]

That kind of logic doesn’t take into account a lot of things. You can’t just look at how two fighters finish an opponent and judge them by that.

By that logic, Frank Mir is better than Randy Couture (he did submit Sylvia, while Randy only won the desicion.) Or Soukodjou is automatically better than his older training partner Dan Henderson ( He did knock out Rogerio, who did Arm bar Henderson.

Then again, Henderson beat Rodrigo, so maybe Rogerio is better than his bigger brother?) Also, Jason Lambert knocked out Sobral, does that mean he could beat Fedor?

My main reason for picking Jackson in this fight is how much punishment he can take. People use his knockout losses as arguments for his weakness, but really those knockouts were some of the most devastating finishes of all time.

I don’t think there’s a good way to compare how much damage two different things can do, but, if Jackson was still standing after 15 of those knees, I think he can survive whatever Lidell throws at him.

However, not indefinitely. He needs to follow the same striking pattern he did the first time because Lidell has been using the same game plan, big overhand. If Jackson can either cover up or take the punch, than throw one of his uppercuts back, I think he’s going to end up frusterating Lidell into making a mistake.

Wouldn’t the verdict be after the fight? I don’t understand this skewed chronology.

It sounds like something out of an H.G. Wells book.

[quote]Naphta wrote:

I don’t think there’s a good way to compare how much damage two different things can do, but, if Jackson was still standing after 15 of those knees, I think he can survive whatever Lidell throws at him.

…[/quote]

Chuck is going to have to land the perfect shot to put him out but Chuck has uncanny accuracy with his odd looking punches.

[quote]Naphta wrote:
He needs to follow the same striking pattern he did the first time because Lidell has been using the same game plan, big overhand. [/quote]

I have to disagree.

Chuck scrapped the ‘push the fight and throw the bolo overhand right’ strategy after losing to Couture. Chuck used to just wade in and fling that bolo punch, and Couture and Rampage both made him pay by being more technical and beating him to the punch with straight down-the-middle shots.

These days, Chuck has morphed into a cautious counter-puncher who waits for his opponents to walk into his counter straight-right. He only presses the action once he has already hurt his opponent with a counter.

Couture didn’t have an answer for the change in strategy. Perhaps Rampage will, perhaps he won’t. We will find out the answer on Saturday.

[quote]Naphta wrote:

That kind of logic doesn’t take into account a lot of things. You can’t just look at how two fighters finish an opponent and judge them by that.

[/quote]

That is not what I was trying to do.

I was merely trying to point out that Babalu is not some bum off the street. He has a win over Shogun and managed to complete his fight with Fedor. No small feat in either case. I just get tired of hearing how Chuck does nothing but KO bums, yet those same bums have beaten some of the best fighters in the world.

IMO, the UFC LHW division is maligned, in large part, because Chuck Liddell has brutalized all of the top contenders.

Just to clarify a few things:

Jeremy Horn beat Liddell in 99, I believe, that’s a long time ago. Horn is really a 185lb fighter. There was a lot of speculation on whether he could win, but I don’t think anyone was expecting him to.

With Couture, I believe the thumb in the eye had a lot to do with the out come of the first fight and, according to Randy, his family problems screwed him up in the second. True? I don’t know. His age could have slowed him down a bit as well. I’m not so certain Liddell has improved all that much, he’s always been a counter puncher.

Beating Sobral in the first minutes of the first round twice I think is a testiment to Sobral’s bad strategy, he played right into Chuck’s counterpunching style both times basically the same way. Most people didn’t give him any chance in that fight.

I don’t think Tito was ever a factor in either fight, the second time, there was just no one else to give Liddell to fight. Tito had a legit title shot. But nobody expected him to win, though I thought Tito gave a pretty good fight.

The point is outside of Couture, nobody has been any threat.

The question for me with Jackson is that he took Liddell’s best shots and kept coming and Liddell was staggered by his. Can he do the same? I don’t know, we’ll see. I’m skeptical because conventional wisdom is Jackson has gotten worse and Liddell has gotten better.

-I think Rogerio would beat Sok in a rematch, he got caught early, it is not definitive of a fight between the two. Just like when Busta got KOed by Henderson, the rematch was a different story, which by the way, I thought Busta won the rematch.

[quote]Fitnessdiva wrote:
Just to clarify a few things:

Jeremy Horn beat Liddell in 99, I believe, that’s a long time ago.
[/quote]

… and Rampage beat Chuck in 2003. That is also a long time ago.

If Chuck has not evolved at all, then why would he be favored over Horn? Or are you saying that Chuck’s game improved from 1999 to 2003 and has completely stagnated over the last four years? I find that hard to believe.

[quote]Fitnessdiva wrote:

The point is outside of Couture, nobody has been any threat. [/quote]

I think Wandy and Shogun might beg to differ about those guys being non-threatening.

[quote]Fitnessdiva wrote:

-I think Rogerio would beat Sok in a rematch, he got caught early, it is not definitive of a fight between the two.

[/quote]

I dunno.

The ass-whooping that Sokoudjou put on Arona was more than enough to convince me that his win over Rogerio was no fluke. Judo Thierry is the real deal.

Liddell by TKO in the third. Maybe I’m a bit biased, though, as I saw Jakson’s losses against Silva again recently.

Here’s the deal: Horn beat Liddell when Liddell was brand new to MMA. Horn was already an established fighter. The same can be said for Shogun when he fought Babalu. In other sports terms it would be akin to comparing a Pro-quarterback’s record in high school to a game during his best pro-years.

Liddell in 2003 isn’t much different than Liddell now. Liddell in 99 was a totally different animal than Liddell in 05 vs Horn. Same for Shogun, even Silva when he fought Ortiz. Plus Ortiz’s style is more dangerous to Silva than it is to Chuck just due to fighting styles.

Sok vs Rogerio… Who knows, supposedly Arona had a stomach virus when he fought him, don’t know, but I still think Rogerio will beat him in a rematch.

I generally fall in line with Steve’s thoughts on this matter, especially about how everyone who goes through the Chuck grinder comes out perceived as a can for some reason.

I like both guys a lot, I see the fight as 50/50. I’m picking Rampage though, simply becuase I like him more. I think it’s a pretty arbitrary choice when these two match up.

I’m acutally very impressed that people are so excited for this fight, and people aren’t just blindy picking Chuck. They’ve done a good job of letting Rampage do his thing and promote this fight with his star personality.

I think I fell in love with Rampage when he handed Igor Vovchanchyn a note in their stare down from his mom, asking Igor not to hurt her son. Igor looks confused as hell and it cracks me up to this day.

[quote]Steve4192 wrote:
Jungle Judo Thierry is the real deal.[/quote]

Fixed it. He tells the Japanese press he can drop-seonagi an elephant.

This is definitely the first fight where I think Chuck’s opponent has as much of a chance of beating Chuck as Chuck has of beating him.

My big questions are: Has Quinton actually gotten worse and has Chuck gotten better and finally has Quinton had enough warm up fights to be ready?

We’ll see how it plays out.

[quote]Fitnessdiva wrote:

Jeremy Horn beat Liddell in 99, I believe, that’s a long time ago. Horn is really a 185lb fighter.

Horn beat Liddell when Liddell was brand new to MMA. Horn was already an established fighter. The same can be said for Shogun when he fought Babalu.

With Couture, I believe the thumb in the eye had a lot to do with the out come of the first fight and, according to Randy, his family problems screwed him up in the second.

Beating Sobral in the first minutes of the first round twice I think is a testiment to Sobral’s bad strategy

Sok vs Rogerio… Who knows, supposedly Arona had a stomach virus when he fought him.

[/quote]

Why does every fight result need a rationalization? We can do the same thing for Chuck’s loss to Rampage and bemoan the fact that he had a torn quad and couldn’t implement a major part of his pre-fight strategy (leg kicks). However, I’d rather just accept that fighter A beat fighter B and was the better man on that night.

Rampage deserves the accolades for beating Chuck, just as Babalu deserves the accolades for beating Shogun, Tito deserves the accolades for beating Wandy, and Chuck deserves the accolades for beating Babalu/Tito/Horn/Couture.

Rampage has obviously proven he can beat Chuck when he brings his ‘A’ game, but we really haven’t seen his ‘A’ game since he (1) was brutalized by Silva for the second time and (2) accepted Jesus Christ as his lord and savior. He has really struggled against the likes of Dong Sik Yoon, Shogun’s less talented older brother, and a blown-up 185 pounder in Matt Lindland. He just doesn’t seem to have the same desire to thoroughly demolish his opponents any more.

Also, it has often been said that once a fighter gets his KO-cherry popped, his chin is never the same. Rampage has been KO’d three times since his first encounter with Chuck courtesy of the Chute Boxe boys, and I seriously question if he can still absorb punishment like he used to.

Net, if Rampage can somehow rediscover his ‘A’ game on Saturday night, then Chuck will be in trouble. If not, then I see Chuck adding yet another highlight reel KO to his collection and finishing off his revenge tour in brutal fashion.

Don’t forget that Silva beat Jackson on the same night right after Jackson beat Chuck. Even though Silva’s opponent (I can’t remember his name) put up a good fight he’s was no Chuck Liddell. Imagine fighting a guy like Liddell then fighting Silva right after.

If I fought Chuck I think I would need a year to recover. With that said, I’m equally a fan of both fighters because they’re both so exciting to watch. Should be one hell of a fight.
(edit- guess this already stated my bad)

[quote]Steve4192 wrote:

Chuck gets no respect for knocking Tito & Babalu unconscious four times, yet those two guys hold victories over Wandy/Shogun. Go figure. Heck, Babalu even managed to take the best fighter on the planet (Fedor) to a decision. Chuck deserves mad respect for delivering two highlight-reel KO’s against a guy even Fedor couldn’t finish.

I think Chuck beats people so convincingly that he tarnishes their reputation. Tito, Babalu, & Randy were all considered monsters until Chuck added them to his personal highlight reel. For some reason, whenever a fighter is on the losing end of a one-sided beatdown, people write him off as ‘overrated’ or a ‘bum’. Chuck has turned a lot of very good fighters into ‘overrated bums’.[/quote]

Babalu took Fedor to a decision which he lost unanimously in Rings. No GNP in Rings. Arona also took Fedor to a decision which he lost. Also if you remember Randy Couture(while he was HW champ) lost to Valentjin Overeem in a matter of minutes under Rings rules.
I think Liddel’s biggest wins were against Randy Couture.

You can’t be serious about Tito. Tito has been like Sakuraba these past years. Great wins a long time ago.
I don’t think Babalu is overrated or a bum. He is a good fighter, just not as good as Liddell.