April 28, 2009
According to UFC president Dana White, Chuck Liddell is retired, but we haven't heard "The Iceman" make that official announcement himself
White told the media at the UFC 97 postfight press conference that Liddell was finished. He repeated that to Cage Writer (video 4:00 mark) during the ESPNRadio1100 postfight show:
White: I said Chuck's done.
Cage Writer: Did he say that?
White: No, and it's not that he's not going to fight anymore for the UFC, he's not going to fight anymore period.
Cage Writer: He's just lost to three of the top five guys in the world. He clearly can make money fighting other people. It's kind of tough to tell a guy who can make $500,000, if it's not with you then a company in Japan or someone here who is trying to compete with you, you know what, you can't do it.
White: Yup. That's the way it is. He can't fight again. He's gonna be 40 years old. He's made a lot of money. He's been the champion. He's proved everything he needs to prove to everybody. There's no need for him to fight anymore. He's a big name we could sell out arenas, sell pay-per-views with him but I don't want to see it.
It's been nine days since Liddell lost to Shogun Rua at UFC 97 and still no official word from the former light heavyweight champ. We may have a clue of which direction Liddell is leaning if this quote at Around The Octagon from his trainer John Hackleman is to be believed:
"Chuck can do whatever wants to do," said Hackleman. "It’s disappointing. He lost to a great champion and that’s no reason to retire. His record is no indicator to retire. He’ll retire when he’s lost the desire to fight or he’s getting hurt. He’s fought 100 times and only been knocked out twice. We’ll talk about it in the next week or so but no one is going to tell him when he’s going to stop fighting."
Hackleman stated Liddell may have to go to court to ensure his ability to make his own decision:
"I don’t care what his contract says," said Hackleman. "If it went to court you can’t stop someone from their livelihood. If he’s under contract with the UFC they have to give him a fight or if they don’t they have to let him go. They just can’t say you aren’t going to fight. Chuck is still under contract and they have to give him a fight or let him go."
White and Liddell did hang out last weekend at Talladega for the NASCAR event. White, who said he was dropping his video blog after the Ultimate Fight Night 18 vlog mess, produced two more at Talladega. It may be time to invest in a light for the camera. There is no truth to the rumor that Liddell's UFC job offer was cameraman on the vlog. This was mentioned to current cameraman Elliot, and he was ready to punch Cage Writer in the face.
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