By Keith Shillan
The fight that was years in the making.
#25. Jim Miller vs Joe Lauzon 1
#24. Roger Huerta vs Clay Guida
#23. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs Randy Couture
#22 Cheick Kongo vs Pat Berry
#21 Chris Leben vs Yoshihiro Akiyama
#20. Frank Shamrock vs Tito Ortiz
#19 Andrei Arlovski vs Travis Browne
#18. Frankie Edgar vs Gray Maynard 2 and 3
#17. Georges St. Pierre vs Johny Hendricks
#16. Chuck Liddell vs Wanderlei Silva
December 29th, 2007
Co-Main Event of UFC 79
Mandalay Event Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
This is arguable the most anticipated fight in UFC history. It surely is the most talked about. For years, Chuck Liddell vs Wanderlei Silva was a dream fight that all the hardcore MMA fans wanted to see. Chuck Liddell was the UFC Light Heavyweight champion for years, while Wanderlei Silva was the Pride FC middleweight (same as Light Heavyweight in the UFC) champion for years during the same time period. The two guys were the faces of their organizations and knockout kings. For years, hardcore fans would talk about how the two fighters would matchup if they ever faced each other.
Not many mega fights live up to its billing. This one did. Unfortunately, these two legends, did not face in their primes. Both fighters were coming off back to back loses, but better late than never.
The action starts off slow in the first round, as both guys have tons of respect for each other. Liddell starts the offense by landing a double jab, while Silva counters with a hard leg kick. Liddell lands a right hand that appears to have hurt Silva. Silva backs up towards the cage, and Liddell moves in for the kill. Silva lands a hard left hook as Liddell moves in for the kill. Liddell lands a right hand, and then both fighters sit down on their punches and exchange bombs at each other, with Liddell getting the better of the exchange. As the break, Lidell lands a right high kick. As they settle back in the middle of the cage, Liddell lands a right hand. He follows it up with a solid 1-2 combination. Silva lands a hard leg kicks and then both fighters exchange bombs again. Silva lands a hard left hook, and Liddell lands a straight right, and a push kick. Silva lands a hard leg kick, but Liddell responds and lands a nice 1-2 combination again. The two fighters then exchange bombs for a 3rd time. The fighters break and Liddell hits a 1-2 combination and Silva counters with a hard left hook. Liddell lands a 1-2 combination again, and then a stiff jab. Liddell slips a counter left hook from Silva and lands two right hands. Silva lands a hard left hook, while Liddell lands a straight right hand as the round end. Liddell wins the round.
The second round begins, and Silva lands a hard left hook, and then both fighters start exchanging big shots. They back up and Silva lands a straight right hand. Liddell counter with his own straight right, an then a second one that cuts Silva. Liddell lands a third straight right. Silva counters with a 1-2 counter, and then lands another 1-2 combination. Liddell lands a straight left, but Silva counters with his own straight right. Silva lands two hard kicks to the body and then lands another straight right. Liddell lands a straight right, and Silva lands another body kick. Silva counters a kick from Liddell with a striaght right that drops Liddell, who pops back up to his feet immediately. Silva rushed Liddell and lands a left hook. He follows it up with a 1-2 combination. Liddell counters with two straight right hands. Liddell then trips over Silva’s foot, but pops us fast. Liddell lands a 1-2 combination, and Silva lands a left hook. Liddell initiates the clinch and lands a hard elbow that hurts Silva. Liddell lands a hard left hook that blooded up Silva. Liddell folllows up with another hard elbow and then a 1-2 combination. This causes both fighters to start throwing bombs. Liddell steps back and lands a clean 1-2 combination and they both start throwing bombs at each other again. Liddell lands an elbow on Silva and then lands a big 4 punch flurry on Silva, The Iceman lands two straight rights, which hurts Silva bad. Liddell lands another right hand and then unloaded a 6 punch combination and follows with a takedown as the round ends. The crowd is going crazy. Close round, but Liddell wins it again.
The third round begins and Liddell lands a double leg takedown, however Silva quickly pushes him off. Silva lands a left hook, which Liddell counters with a straight right. Liddell lands a hard overhand right, and then follows it up with a left hook and a 1-2 combination. Silva counters with a left hook, but Liddell is starting to really win the exchanges. Liddell lands a hard jab and then follows up with another 1-2 combination. Liddell lands a spinning backfist that hurts Silva. Liddell follows with a 1-2 combination that really hurts Silva. Liddell goes in for the kill and lands a straight right hand. Both fighters start throwing bombs, but Liddell gets the best of it. Liddell has Silva hurt and starts to unload a huge arsenal of strikes. He lands at least 8 unanswered shots. Liddell resets and lands a jab. However, the big flurry seems to have the Iceman gassed out. Silva lands a stiff jab. Liddell lands an overhand right that hurts Silva again. He then lands 4 unanswered shots before Silva can counter with a right hand. Liddell lands a right hand, and Silva lands a left hook. The round is coming to an end and Liddell lands a straight right and a left hook. Liddell lands another left hook, and then finishes the round the fight with another takedown. Big round for Liddell.
Results and Notes:
Chuck Liddell wins unanimous decision. Sadly, this was the last win of Liddell’s career. He would lose his next three fights, all by KO and retire. However, when the All-Time rankings are debated, Liddell gets to flaunt a win over Silva
Silva has an up and down career after this point. He no longer fights in the UFC and is currently signed by Rizin.
If you weren’t a fan of MMA at this time, you wouldn’t understand how big this fght was. This fight was huge.