Leading up to the UFC 115 event we all heard about how Chuck Liddell has re-dedicated himself to training and to the sport. He wasn't going out to parties and drinking like he used to, nor was he overweight going into his training camp. In fact, some of that had to be true with the way Liddell's physique looked going into the fight with Rich Franklin this past weekend. I remember listening to Liddell in recent interviews leading up to the fight that he needed to take a break from the rigors of training as well as to give his body time away from getting hit.
Rich Franklin knocking Chuck Liddell out the way he did pretty let us know that time away from getting hit doesn't help one's chin.
Now, I'm not saying that anyone should go out there and fight 2 months after just getting knocked out. However, the belief that taking time off to recuperate will help you to take a punch better in the future just isn't true. I always found it funny when Liddell or Dana White would say such a thing. I think everyone knew that Liddell's chin isn't what it once was. Surely, there's no shame in getting knocked out by the likes of Rampage Jackson, Rashad Evans, and Shogun Rua. Those three guys are some of the best light heavyweights in the world. However, readying my predictions and most of the others across the blogosphere nobody ever expected Franklin to one punch KO Chuck Liddell like that.
Liddell defeated Wanderlei Silva in December 2007 then didn't fight again until September 2008 when Rashad Evans knocked him out. After that loss, Liddell didn't fight again until April 2009 when Shogun Rua knocked him out. So it's not exactly like he was fighting that frequently to begin with with 9 month and then 7 month gaps in between those fights respectively. So as you can see we had been through this before with Liddell, but once you have a concussion(get knocked out) things just are not the same. Check out this excerpt from Medterms.com:
It takes considerable time and energy for the brain to correct this chemical imbalance. Changes in the brain start to resolve immediately, but the recovery time seems to vary. The time depends not only on the severity of the blow, but also on how many previous concussions a person has had.
After a concussion, the arteries in the brain constrict. This reduces blood flow to the brain and lowers the rate at which oxygen is delivered to the brain. At the same time the demand rises for the sugar glucose which provides energy to the brain for healing. But the need for more glucose cannot be met by the narrowed arteries and this discrepancy ("mismatch") creates a metabolic crisis. Eventually the damaged brain cells (that survive) do slowly repair themselves, the demand for glucose eases, the arteries to the brain open wider, and blood flow to the brain returns to normal. However, the brain stays in a lowered metabolic state, a quiescent condition, for a considerable length of time before it can return to normal.Once a person has had a concussion, he or she is as much as four times more likely to sustain a second one. Moreover, after several concussions, it takes less of a blow to cause the injury and requires more time to recover.