December 29, 2010
UFC's Iceman gets new gig
By QMI Agency
UFC legend Chuck (The Iceman) Liddell is moving from the octagon to the board room.
Liddell, touted as the best light-heavyweight in UFC history, announced his retirement Wednesday during a press conference for Saturday's UFC 125 in Las Vegas. He will immediately take on his new gig as the UFC's vice-president of business development.
"I want to thank Frank (Fertitta), Lorenzo (Fertitta), and Dana (White) for everything they've done for me over the years, and the sport," Liddell said in a statement. "Most of all I want to thank my fans and my family. I love the sport and I'm excited to go into a new stage in my life and keep promoting the best sport in the world, the sport I love."
Liddell, inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2009, ends his career with a 21-8 record in mixed-martial arts. He was also 22-2 as a kickboxer, with 16 wins coming by knockout.
In his 12 years with the UFC, Liddell became one of the most feared fighters in the 205-pound weight class and is considered one of the sport's first "cross-over" stars.
Between 2004 and 2007, he went on a seven-win streak that included knockout victories over Randy Couture (twice) and Tito Ortiz (twice). He was the UFC world champion for 25 months after beating Couture for the belt in April, 2005.
Liddell's last fight was a first-round knockout loss to Rich Franklin at UFC 115 in Vancouver. White, the UFC's president, vowed then that Liddell, 41, would never fight again.
Instead, White gave him a job with the organization. Liddell's new duties will include work on fighter relations and government regulation but will primarily focus on developing new business for the UFC.
"He's been more than a friend, more than a fighter, and more than a champion," White said. "This is a big deal for us."
UFC 125 goes Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena with Frankie Edgar facing Gray Maynard for the lightweight championship in the main event.