UFC president Dana White has drawn a line in the sand with longtime friend Chuck Liddell. There’s nothing “The Iceman” can say or do to get back inside the Octagon again. PERIOD.
“He won’t do it again, he cannot do it again,” White said of Liddell trying to convince him to promote one final scrap.
Following Liddell’s KO loss to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 97, White initially said enough was enough. But, he was persuaded to flip the script when he witnessed the former champion’s newly found motivation firsthand.
White said he was pleased with Liddell’s overall performance, but it’s not his dedication that’s the issue.
“My problem isn’t with Chuck Liddell getting in shape or any of that stuff. The problem is Chuck’s chin,” said White. “It’s not that I don’t want him in the UFC anymore. Listen, we all turn 40. I used to work out hard. Now, I fight with myself everyday just to get on a treadmill.”
White also understands the business side of his job and knows that Liddell is still a marketable fighter – regardless of being knocked out in four of his last six Octagon appearances.
“Can Chuck Liddell still make money? Could I make money off Chuck Liddell? Yes. I don’t want that money. I don’t want to make that kind of money,” White admitted.
Now the question is, does the former UFC light heavyweight champ still have the desire to compete? If he does, it won’t be in the Octagon, although that’s a bridge White doesn’t want to cross.
“We’ll have that conversation. I guess if he asked me to release him, I’d release him. It’s not what I want,” the UFC’s head honcho told reporters.
Check out White’s UFC 116 pre-fight interview with Heavy.com by clicking the media player below: