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Dana White says Chuck Liddell has fought his last fight

UFC President Dana White had been clear in many of his interviews leading up to UFC 97 that Chuck Liddell would have to deliver a good showing against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in order to continue his fighting career.

Following last night’s TKO loss to Rua at 4:28 of round 1, White indicated stated during the company’s post-fight press conference at the Bell Centre that Liddell’s fourth defeat in his last five fights has marked the end of an era.

When asked by the Canadian Press’ Neil Davidson about Liddell’s future in the UFC, White didn’t pull any punches.

“… There was no mystery in this,” he said regarding what a loss would mean for Liddell’s future. “My promotion for this fight it’s like watching Jordan’s in his last game… It was the end of an era tonight. Since before we’ve bought this company, (Chuck) has been with me since I got into mixed martial arts. He’s been a loyal friend and partner.”

White, who managed Liddell before him and the Fertitta Brothers formed Zuffa LLC in 2001 and purchased the UFC from the Semaphore Entertainment Group, isn’t about to allow his affinity for the man who help put his company on the map jeopardize his long-term health.

“At the end of the day and I say this all the time, and the media likes to portrary me as a tyrant who terrorizers people, or whatever my title is, but I care about these guys,” he began. “I don’t want to see anyone stick around too long and I don’t want to see anybody get hurt. In the almost 20-year history of the UFC there’s never been a death or a serious injury.”

And to the surprise of no one, White continued by making the proclamation that UFC 97 was the last time fans will get to see Liddell compete.

“You’re never going to see Chuck Liddell on the canvas again, I can tell you that,” pronounced White. “He’s done. Tonight was the end of an era. One of the best greatest in this sport fought his last fight tonight.”

During the press conference, Liddell stopped short of announcing his retirement. He expressed his desire to wait until Monday before thinking about his next move but still conceded that UFC 97 perhaps was his last fight.

If UFC 97 was truly the last fight for Liddell, it will mark the end of a career that saw him accumulate a 21-7 record that saw him successfully defend the UFC light heavyweight title four times. Perhaps the most recnogizable fighter in MMA, Liddell’s storied career includes notable victories over former PRIDE middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva, former UFC light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Randy Couture, former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz, current Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Renato “Babalu” Sobral, former UFC heavyweight champion Kevin Randleman, and former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort.

  • Ryan Seacrest says:

    I would like to say, Chuck its been one hell of a ride. Thanks for all of the memories! You are a class act. I will always remember the way that you man handled Tito Ortiz not only once but twice. You will be missed.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    yup, an awesome fighter. for a while he had the same unbeatable aura that the likes of fedor, torres & silva have now.
    he looked awful last night, it was difficult to watch. i still think he could make a damn good living fighting in japan, once maybe twice per year, fight the likes of yoshida, hong man choi, cro cop. super fights that will pay him a fortune. just because he’s done in the ufc doesnt necessarily mean he cant fight anywhere.

  • tyler says:

    Personally I’d like to see Chuck fight again just to see him as Dana said it “on the canvas again” Never liked his quiet cockiness. Seeing him go down again made a horrible title fight more tolerable.

  • Revenge88 says:

    I would rather see Chuck Liddell fight and loss than see another boreing fight with Anderson Silva.

  • PlagueAngel says:

    Memories of Tito running like a scared kitten from Liddell’s fist will always be in my mind. We may have seen his last seranade in the UFC, but I’m sure he will fight again somewhere else.

  • tyler says:

    “PlagueAngel” are you going to use every topic to post your hatred for Tito Ortiz?

  • JollyDV says:

    Well, I just wanted to tell Chuck, Thanks! You have given us some great fights in the past years and you are incredible. Best of luck in the future!

  • egad81 says:

    Chuck will fight again… just not in the UFC.

    Maybe the local bar or japan?

  • Rich S. says:

    Don’t want to see it happen, but i also don’t want to see him lose anymore..
    All these years chuck has been notorious for his takedown defense.. Rua just took him right down last night with ease.. that was the first sign that something was wrong..

    also, Liddell trained striking with a different coach, and you could see the difference in his striking last night.. he kept throwing straight, seemingly weak shots, instead of those looping hooks we’re used to..

    It’s great that Rua is back to his old ways, but it’s still a sad day in MMA

  • Davey D says:

    Chuck Liddell is without a doubt one the greatest Fighter’s in the history of MMA. He will be missed. I said a long time ago that should make a move to HW. Maybe if he didn’t have to make the weight cut anymore, he would preform a lot better? While there is only one Randy Couture, I know Chuck has a few more in him. 205 isn’t a good idea anymore IMO but, Chuck is a fighter and fighter’s fight. Moving up in weight just might serve him well.

    I would love to see Liddell vs. Cro Cop or Nogueira or even Dan Henderson at 205. I really hope this isn’t the end because there are plenty of BIG TIME fight’s out there that may not lead to any Title but the competition will certainly fill the void. Maybe Chuck Liddell becomes an even bigger face for the UFC and takes on an ambassador role, helping them grow even more. He’ll always have a home in the UFC.

    Either way, thanks for all the good memories Chuck. Follow your heart and it will lead you on your journey to bigger and better thing’s.

  • perfecto says:

    All I have to say is F word to that. Dana is a little bitch talking so bad and cold about Chuck one of the men who kicked of the UFC to the big time. Dana needs to learn some damn respect. He could learn or someone should teach him. I would love to hear that Chuck blew up on his ass and put Dana to sleep with his ever famous right hand.

    I love Chuck but he just cant take a hit anymore. It was a sad night.

  • tarior says:

    Chuck is certainly one of the all time greats, and probably my very favorite fighter. Watching him whoop Tito the second time (not bashing Tito, who I thought was just about unbeatable at that time), was electrifying and got me hooked on MMA. I would love to think he has great fights left in him, but I’m afraid the he just doesn’t. I sure as hell don’t want to see Chuck end up like Ali. I think Dana is doing the right thing by “guiding” him into retirement.

    And why not, he’s rich, he’s famous, he’s made it to the top, and he’s managed to cross over into other avenues of employment, such as acting.
    We should all just say thanks for the memories and let it be.

  • fitz0507 says:

    Please stop the Insainity! Chuck was a hood fighter but never great. If he was the greatest of all time the what does that make Rampage? He did after all make Chuck look like a boy amongst men not once but twice. Chuck had great knock out power and that made him look good against the stable of over rated prima donas the UfC had until the fall of Pride. Chuck would have lost to Silva if they would have fought in the parking lot. He got his but handed two him by a man who is not even a champ and Shogun is half the fighter he once was


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