Chuck predicts first-round KO of Silva
By Jeff Cain/MMAWeekly.com
No one was more excited by the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s official announcement that Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva would finally fight at UFC 79 on Dec. 29 in Las Vegas than Liddell himself.
"I'm very excited," the former light heavyweight champion told MMAWeekly.com. “I've been waiting for this fight for a long, long time.”
The bout has been years in the making and many believed it would never happen, including Liddell. "I thought that for a long time. I've always said I'll be surprised when it does (happen),” he said “But I'm happily surprised now and I can't wait until we get there."
Now that the bout agreements have been signed and the fight is official, Dec. 29 cannot come soon enough for Liddell.
With both fighters coming off back-to-back losses, some think the match up has lost a little of it's luster, but Liddell disagrees.
"I think it's going to be a huge fight because people have been waiting for it for so long and people have been talking about it for so long."
Asked if there was any added pressure to win coming in off two losses, Liddell replied, "I'm just excited to get in there and fight Wanderlei. There's no extra pressure.
"To me, it's a chance to fight Wanderlei and put myself back in contention for a title shot. I just want to fight. I'm glad I get the first shot at him."
Silva hasn’t fought in the UFC for more than seven years. He lost a decision to Tito Ortiz upon the promotion’s last trip to Japan in April 2000.
Liddell's been in several big fights in his storied career, but none he's wanted more than this one with the former Pride Fighting Championships middleweight titleholder.
"I've always said the opponent helps what motivates you during training, and this is definitely one I'm excited to get in the gym to get ready for."
Not only does the motivation appear to be there, Liddell also likes the stylistic match up and his chances for a favorable outcome.
"I like a guy who comes at me and forces the fight. I don't think this one goes to a decision, that's for sure. It might make it into the second or third round, but someone is going out sooner or later.
"I plan on sending him out in the first round."
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