The X Man

All the talk surrounding Chuck Liddell’s knockout loss to Rich Franklin at UFC 115 is that the show’s over for the future Hall of Famer.  Not too far behind is the mention that Dana White should refuse any request by “The Iceman” for another fight.

While this is true, there needs to be more emphasis on the one person in Chuck’s world that needs to step up the most if that situation presents itself:  John Hackleman.

It happens all too often when a fighter is finished but continues to fight on while the trainer goes along with him on his path of self-destruction.  The trainer loves the fighter and willing to go down with him.

That’s why Hackleman remains the x-factor in the Liddell retirement saga.

Chuck Liddell is arguably the most endeared fighter ever to grace the Octagon.  His contributions to the sport, not just the UFC, are in-measurable. No one wishes to see him laid out cold again.

Hackleman is not the polarizing figure as White is, but he is the most influential when it comes to the former champ.  The next time he and Liddell make a trip to “The Pit” it should to train the fighters of tomorrow.  He and the king of yesteryear’s MMA are ready the next phase of their journey together.

And just like before, it’s up to Hackleman to get Chuck ready for his next challenge.

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