In today’s economy, job security is on the top of everyone’s minds. So just imagine how Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell was feeling after his chat with UFC president, and long-time amigo, Dana White. Talk about an awkward and uncomfortable conversation.
“I’ve made it very clear to Chuck. Very clear,” White stated about the importance of Liddell posting a strong showing at UFC 97. “It’s not about money, it’s not about this, that. Chuck is one of my good friends. Chuck (has) cemented his legacy in the UFC and in the fight game. I’m not even saying if he wins, unless he looks incredibly impressive (in Montreal) – I mean, he’s going to have to go out there and dazzle me, for me to want Chuck to still fight.”
Damn, if that’s how Mr. White treats his buddies, than I don’t ever wanna kick it with Dana.
However, he does have a point. Also, there are two sides to the brash MMA promoter. Mr. White is the no-nonsense businessman that is willing to reward you for doing what is asked, and is willing to cut ties with you in a heartbeat for not.
For many years, “The Iceman” was on Mr. White’s good side. Just three years ago, he not only was he the face of the UFC – his face was plastered all over the cover of ESPN the Magazine, SportsCenter and a guest spot on the pop culture phenomenon Entourage – but he was getting paid crazy stacks.
According to public records, Liddell has been receiving a $500,000 guarantee for his past several fights. However, it is believed that he makes over $1 million per scrap because his contract allows him a piece of the pay-per-view sales.
Although Mr. White was good to him then, it looks like Liddell has run out of mulligans. This is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately business, and unfortunately Chucky hasn’t done much of late.
The 39-year-old has dropped three of his last four bouts, including his 2ndRound swan-dive into the mat after Rashad Evans unloaded a right hook to his dome at UFC 88 this past September.
However, there is the Dana side as well. The side that may simply want his friend to start thinking about his post-fight career before he badly injures himself.
“I love him, and I don’t want to see what I saw in his last fight ever again,” White compassionately said.
Either way, it is clear that his bout against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is a must-win. Otherwise, “The Iceman” may melt away.