If you haven’t seen the video where Chuck Liddell retires, you should check it out. Chuck gets all choked up and throws out more body language than a kabuki performer. There’s still no word on who approached who about having him announce his retirement yesterday, or if his new job was offered in exchange or in response to the decision. But here’s Chuck’s statement to ESPN:
“I’ve been fighting for a long time,” Liddell told ESPN.com. “I talked to my family and friends about it. In this last fight [against Franklin], it seemed I wasn’t able to take a shot like I used to. And I just haven’t been able to put together wins.
“If I can’t compete with the best or if I’m not fighting for a title, then I have nothing to prove.”
“This is a hard thing for me, making this decision to retire,” Liddell said. “It’s all I’ve ever done. I’ve been competing in martial arts since I was a kid. But this position [VP of Business Development] gives me a new goal, something to work toward. Maybe it will keep the itch [to fight again] away.
“I’m pretty sure this is it. It took me a long time to make this decision. I don’t like making promises, but I’m pretty solid on this.”
As for what the fuck his duties will be as vice president of business development, Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta offered up this potpourri of items:
“Chuck is the perfect example of a UFC athlete, someone who is smart inside the Octagon and smart in business,” White said. “With his background and expertise, Chuck is exactly the guy we need to work with regulators in existing and new jurisdictions, and work with all of the UFC athletes, as we grow this business around the world.”
UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta noted that Liddell’s duties will include work on fighter relations and government regulation throughout the U.S. and internationally, but that Liddell’s main focus would be on developing new business for the company.
I know what you’re thinking: Chuck Liddell is ‘smart in business’??? Well, the guy does have a BA in Business/Accounting from Cal Poly. That was before he spent the next 15 years getting punched in the brain literally thousands of times, but still.