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JOHN HACKLEMAN: "CHUCK IS NOT EVEN CLOSE TO MAKING A DECISION YET!"

By Percy Crawford | May 01, 2009
JOHN HACKLEMAN:

"There is no decision yet. Chuck is not even close to making a decision yet… We're probably going to go and talk about it and relax. There is no hurry and just because people are saying he's retired doesn't make it so," stated Pit Boss John Hackleman as he talked about Chuck Liddell's future plans after disappointing loss to Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 97. Check it out!

PC: How is everything going my man?

JH: Ah, things are good. Same old, same old!

PC: I know the fight didn't go as planned, but how was your trip to Montreal?

JH: The trip was fine, but the fight wasn't. It was a nice city.

PC: The fight with Shogun didn't go as you guys would have liked it. Based on the conversations you've had with Chuck, what do you think his next move will be?

JH: I have no idea. There is no decision yet. Chuck is not even close to making a decision yet.

PC: Will there be a formal announcement?

JH: Yeah, yeah! There will be a formal announcement as soon as he decides.

PC: As great as Chuck has been to the sport and the UFC, does it frustrate you to see Dana White kind of throw in the towel for him?

JH: Not really frustrating, just a little irritating, but not really frustrating.

PC: Well, it's like you always say, you're just a peon, huh John?

JH: Yeah, so is Chuck too I guess. No big deal. He's just giving his opinion, that's all.

PC: Every fighter I've spoken with said it has to be 100% Chuck's decision because he has to live with no regrets. Do you agree with that?

JH: Yeah! And it will be.

PC: How did you think the fight was going before the stoppage?

JH: It was fine. I don't really like or dislike it. I think he was doing okay. I'm a bit too nervous during his fights to break it down like that, but he was landing some stuff. It was pretty close, you know?

PC: Were you shocked with the early takedown from Shogun?

JH: No!

PC: You expected it?

JH: Yeah!

PC: No one knows Chuck better than you John. Do you think he looks at fighting in a different light now that he's accomplished so much?

JH: No, I think we switched up the strategy for the fight and we just didn't get a chance. Shogun got off quick and just landed. I think our strategy was perfect. I think Chuck changed up his fighting style a bit, but hey…it just didn't go the way we wanted.

PC: Krzystof Soszynski thinks that Chuck will take time off, like Randy Couture did after his two losses to Chuck, and come back at heavyweight. Is that a possibility?

JH: Uh, I don't know if he needs to or wants to, but I just want to do whatever he wants. We're probably going to go and talk about it and relax. There is no hurry and just because people are saying he's retired doesn't make it so. We'll just go and decide and come back and he'll make the decision then.

PC: Do you take a break after Chuck's fights or are you right back in there?

JH: No. I come right back to work. I come back and run the gym, but Chuck will take a couple of weeks off to decide what's next!

PC: Good luck with everything at the Pit. And whatever decision Chuck makes, I wish you guys the best. Anything you want to say in closing?

JH: No, just you can call me anytime.

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