End of the road for Liddell?

September 8th, 2008
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Going 3-2 in my predictions for UFC 88 isn’t bad, but once again, I completely underestimated Rashad Evans.

Showing off a greatly improving striking game, Evans earned himself a light heavyweight title shot against Forrest Griffin with a wicked knockout of Chuck Liddell in the main event Saturday night in Atlanta, Ga.

I was out covering the UH football game and didn’t get to see the event live, but I did catch the knockout blow by Evans and the word devastating would be an understatement. The right hook put Liddell out on the canvas for a good five minutes and ends any label of Evans as purely a wrestler. His high-kick KO of Sean Salmon was one thing, but to KO the former champion the way he did cements Evans as one of the best fighters at 205 pounds.

We know what Evans’ future holds, a date with Griffin for the title that UFC President Dana White confirmed after the show.  But where does the 38-year-old Liddell go from here? He already beat Wanderlei Silva and I’m sure he doesn’t want a third crack at Rampage Jackson. Could this be the end for Liddell? He’s already faced just about everyone at the top of the division, and not everyone can compete into their mid-40′s like Randy Couture. Would he take a big-money fight at 205 against Anderson Silva? Maybe. But after Saturday night, I don’t know if he’d be the favorite.

Whether or not it’s the end for Liddell, one thing I do know is that he has been a pioneer for the sport and one of the UFC’s all-time greats.

Final results for UFC 88:

Rashad Evans def. Chuck Liddell by KO in the second round.
Rich Franklin def. Matt Hamill by TKO in the third round.
Dan Henderson def. Rousimar Palhares by unanimous decision
Nate Marquardt def. Martin Kampmann by TKO in round 1.
Dong Hyun Kim def. Matt Brown by split decision.
Kurt Pellegrino def. Thiago Tavares by unanimous decision.
Tim Boetsch def. Michael Patt by first-round TKO.
Jason MacDonald def. Jason Lambert by submission in round 2.
Ryo Chonan def. Roan Carneiro by split decision

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