Knocked out at 48: Chuck Liddell and the plight of former UFC fighters

Despite pulling in huge revenues, the UFC provides minimal care for its fighters leading many into financial trouble

Last month, Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions held its inaugural mixed martial arts show in California, headlined by former UFC champions Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz. Their fight turned into a repugnant spectacle between two competitors long past retirement age.

At 43, Ortiz is hardly in his fighting prime but he is youthful compared to the 48-year-old Liddell. Liddell dominated the UFC’s light-heavyweight division more than a decade ago but the man who stepped into the cage against Ortiz was a shell of his former self. He was stiff, sluggish, and unfit to compete. The result was a knockout – Liddell has now been KO’d in his last four fights – and meant further risk of brain damage from repeated trauma.

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