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Monday, June 14, 2010

Chuck Liddell potential retirement after ufc 115 fight againest Rich Framklin ?

According to UFC President Dana White, longtime UFC fighter Chuck Liddell, who suffered a first-round TKO loss to Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in the co-main event of Saturday's UFC 97 event, is retired from fighting.

"He's a huge superstar, and we could still sell lots of tickets (with Liddell)," White said. "But I don't care about that. I care about him. I care about his health, and it's over, man. It's over."

The loss to Rua was Liddell's fourth in his past five fights and the third to come via knockout in that span. Although Liddell said he retooled his training camp, and though some of those new skills were on display on Saturday at Montreal's Bell Centre, Liddell still suffered the career-ending loss.

Much of the buildup for UFC 97 focused on Liddell's potential retirement.
eported last week, White had been adamant that a loss for 39-year-old Liddell would mean retirement. "And he did. He kept his word. He was in great shape. He came out guns slinging like he does, but that was it. If that (fight) was a toe-to-toe war and he got flashed (knocked down) a couple times and it went to decision, he'd still be retiring too. He'd still be retiring."

White said the decision is all the easier when considering all that the former UFC light-heavyweight champion has accomplished. White continually states that Liddell is the highest earner in MMA history and the biggest star the sport has ever seen.

"I don't want him to fight anymore," White said. "He [expletive] doesn't have anything to prove. Nothing to prove. He doesn't have to prove anything to me or the rest of world. He has [expletive] loads of money. There's no reason for it. ... I don't care how much he draws. I don't want to see him get hurt."

Liddell attended the post-UFC 97 press conference, a rarity for high-profile stars who suffer losses in their fights. White said it's just the type of person Liddell is. But maybe Liddell just wanted to say goodbye – without officially saying goodbye.

When asked if he had entered the cage for the final time, Liddell was at first noncommittal but later admitted it was probably true.

"Yeah, that's probably the case," Liddell said. "I'm not going to make any decisions until I go home to talk to everybody, talk to my people and my friends. ... But it's probably safe to say (I'm retired)."

The news will likely hit the MMA world hard. Despite his 1-4 record since his final title defense over Tito Ortiz at UFC 66, Liddell remains a fan favorite, a proven par-per-view draw, and an international icon for the sport.

"Fight fans love guys who are real fighters, and you will never in your [expletive] life meet a more real fighter than this guy," White said. "He didn't want to stop. He didn't want to quit. He wanted to take another run at the title. He loves to fight."

Liddell retires with a 21-7 record, including a 16-6 mark in the UFC. His 16 wins in the organizations remain a UFC record.

Liddell, who turned pro in 1998, made his MMA and UFC debut at UFC 17. He won the UFC's light-heavyweight title in 2005 and made four consecutive title defenses before losing the belt to Quinton Jackson in 2007.

According to White, Liddell will remain with the organization, though an exact role has not been determined. However, White said Liddell will likely be involved in the organization's public relations, including the push for MMA legislation in the few remaining U.S. states where the sport is not currently regulated.

"He'll always have a home here," White said. ESPNMMA.com

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