Liddell Shrugged

With light heavyweight legend Chuck Liddell returning to the Octagon, LA Time and Wrestling Observer writer Todd Martin has penned a great piece over on ESPN.com about his return. Martin takes a look at several different angles that factor into the decision, and concludes with this thought:

The question remains as to what the UFC should ultimately do with aging stars who want to continue to fight. Ultimately, there are no easy solutions. If you keep giving Liddell fights, you end up being criticized as a heartless promoter exploiting a broken-down star. If you let him go, you lose revenue, help the opposition and likely won’t even have the desired effect of preserving the man’s health. All you receive is the ability to say your hands were clean. Sometimes, it’s not so easy being a promoter.

Give the history of the promoters involved in fight sport, I don’t think the black vs white alternatives posited have ever been much of a moral quandary. Everest and K2 are renowned peaks for mountain climbers, known for their imposing stature, but the most desolate (and least profitable) of peaks in the fight game is the moral high ground. Promoter’s seem driven by a Rand-ian type of puglistic Objectivism, where the money-making decision is ultimately the righteous one and the one that wins out in the end. Whether it be a Holyfield in boxing, Sakuraba in Japan or Chuck here in the states, the equation seems to provide the same unyielding answer. This isn’t an indictment of merely White or the UFC , but a seeming pervasive mentality that envelops all in the promoter’s realm. The last line that Martin gives is a bit off to my thinking. It is quite easy being a promoter, I’d put forth that it is much harder to be human and act accordingly.

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