Dana White says it will be “war” if Chuck Liddell doesn’t retire

In a new interview with InsideFighting.com, UFC President Dana White has reaffirmed his desire for former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell to retire after sustaining his fourth loss in his last five fights last week at UFC 97.

White was outspoken about his feelings regarding Liddell’s future immediately after his long-time friend suffered a first round TKO loss to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and days later still remained adamant about his preference for Liddell’s next career move.

“Chuck Liddell is stupid rich,” White began to tell Inside Fighting. “Chuck Liddell is done. He’s got nothing left to prove. He’s the most famous guy on earth. I love him like a [expletive] brother and I don’t want to see him get hurt. There is no reason for it.”

White continued by expressing his belief that at Liddell’s age, a comeback is simply not likely.

“He’s [expletive] forty years old man,” proclaimed White. “These guys that are fighting now are young, explosive, fast [expletive] kids who are well rounded mixed martial artists. There’s no [expletive] reason for Chuck Liddell to be out there at forty years old still fighting. I don’t want to make a [expletive] nickel off that ever.”

Liddell reportedly has one more fight left on his UFC contract, but it appears that White doesn’t want to leave the choice of whether he should continue to fight in Liddell’s hands.

“Believe me, it will be a [expletive] war if he tries not to retire, believe me,” he said. “I love him. He helped me build this business. We started when he was making five hundred and five hundred. And we had the dream of him becoming a big star and winning the title and making all kinds of money… We did it all man. We [expletive] did it all. We did it. We did it. It’s [expletive] over. He’s forty years old, it is over.”

29 COMMENTS
  • JJ Docker says:

    Dana’s got a point.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  • ultmma says:

    ^^^ No is has a [expletive] point

    Im already tired of DW talking about Chuck’s retirment it seems like he’s been talking about the moment the ref pulled shogun off Chuck

    Chuck’s a grown man its his decision. He has nothing left to prove, but he’s a fighter and he needs to go out on his own terms not DW’s

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Angry Mike says:

    Dana and the UFC can cut Liddell at any time, at which point Liddell is free to do what he pleases. That having been said, it isn’t in the best interests of UFC to keep Liddell fighting because he can’t keep up any more. Furthermore, if UFC keeps sending him into the Octagon to get ko’d, UFC will be criticized for lack of concern about the safety and health of its fighters. The last thing UFC or MMA needs is for one of its legends to get seriously and permanently injured because he won’t face reality.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • kidneybeans says:

    Even when I agree with Dana White he manages to make me hate him even more.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • mikemick says:

    Dana is not Chuck’s manager or his daddy. He shouldn’t tell Chuck what to do. The funny thing is that he doesn’t realize that his seemingly selfless act, is actually quite selfish. He needs to put the shoe on the other foot. I’m not sure how Chuck would feel about retiring on a loss. Chuck has his own goals, aspirations, and dreams. Who is Dana White to tell him what to do? Chuck can still be competitive. He might never be Chuck-of-old, but he isn’t an embarrassment. I think they should end Chuck’s contract with a Jardine rematch. That would be a very competitive match for Chuck, and it would be great for him to avenge a loss on the way out of his career. If you want to give him a cakewalk, then put him in there with Coleman. Either way, if he wants to fight, he has earned the opportunity to fight.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Rich S. says:

    Well, Liddell is getting kind of [expletive] old..
    I mean, he’s [expletive] done things that no other [expletive] fighter has been able to do in his [expletive] career. He IS one of the most dominant [expletive] champions in UFC [expletive] history..

    If he wants to fight again, in the [expletive] UFC or [expletive] elsewhere, i’ll be happy.. but if he [expletive] retires, that’s OK too..

    I [expletive] prefer that he goes out on a [expletive] high note though..

    ….[expletive].

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • meatloaf says:

    Nice to that Dana still talks like a 15 year old high school wanna be tough guy when the interview is off camera.
    At least he’s consistent in being completely nauseating all the time.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Lee Gerowitz says:

    If Dana White expressed his feelings in a way that had less profanity and in a more “articulate” manner, I don’t think a lot of folks would have an issue with his desire for Chuck to retire.

    Yes, it’s ultimately Chuck’s call. It was also Muhammad Ali’s call….and Jerry Quarry’s…and Joe Frazier’s….and others in the world of boxing. MMA has not been in the spotlight as long as boxing. In short, Chuck doesn’t need to become the first mixed martial artist to follow in the footsteps of the aforementioned guys, all of whom stuck around way too long.

    You may not like Dana’s delivery, but his intentions are clearly to protect Chuck. And let’s not kid ourselves while we’re at it…he’s protecting his business, as well as the sport of MMA as well.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • JJ Docker says:

    When I said Dana’s got a point, I probably wasn’t clear enough. I meant he has a point as far as Liddell’s record over the last 2 years is poor, by any UFC fighters standards; 1-4. Against top opposition, yes, but 205 is full of top opposition. So it’s not a justification. There are hardly any suitable match ups for Liddell left that would be fair ranking wise, and he’s 40 years old, and not Randy Couture. Even his biggest fan has to admit he looked slow and, well, his age in his last fight. So to clarify I do agree with the reasons why Dana doesn’t think Liddell should fight in the UFC again that (I think) Dana was trying to convey, albeit very poorly, in this interview.

    However, I also agree with comments on here – Dana White has no right to tell Liddell that he can’t fight again elsewhere. If Dana doesn’t want him to fight in the UFC, that fairs enough and I can see why. But Liddell is a fighter, a born fighter and loves the sport. He loves to fight, basically. And I’m pretty sure he doesn’t give much of a shit about his ‘legacy’, at least not as much as forum writers and MMA fans. As a fan of his, I would like to see him retire just because I find it hard watching him lose. But Liddell doesn’t have to do what anyone else wants him to do – if Dana won’t let him compete in the UFC, move elsewhere. He’s earned the right to do whatever the fuck he wants to do, and if that’s fight, then he should fight.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • platypus says:

    dana white might be able to prevent chuck from fighting for the ufc ever again, but not from fighting mma. if chuck has the desire to compete and to fight, let’s hope hes able to make his own decisions instead of letting a friend dictate his life and goals.

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  • Lee Gerowitz says:

    Question: if one of your closest friends was **potentially** going to damage themselves by continuing to get knocked out, as the trend has been, you don’t think you have the right to tell them they shouldn’t be fighting anymore, regardless of how the message is delivered? He can’t “prevent” him from fighting anywhere else, but he sure as hell can tell him he shouldn’t be doing so.

    Again, maybe his delivery isn’t the way some people want to hear it, but as far as I am concerned, Dana White has every right to say what he has been saying. He knows the guy way better than any anonymous poster who gets on here and gives their opinion.

    Anyone who thinks Chuck should continue fighting is not looking at the disturbing trend in his recent fights and isn’t thinking long-term. This isn’t about arguing for his rights; it’s about reality. And the reality is, he’s finished. If you give him a chance to knock you out, he can still do it. But there’s a bigger chance now that he’ll get beat to the punch first. That’s the bottom line.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • mmac says:

    What’s Chuck’s contract status? If DW’s got him by the contract, he might not let him go, out of “concern” for his friend, but also not to let him boost up any smaller show. DW has shown willingness to leave people out there (Arlovski and Couture). He might keep Chuck out in limbo as well.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • screwface says:

    ok every1 has a point when they says chuck has taken 1 too many kos recently. and yes his safety is a concern. but the fact remains he was kod fighting the best of the best and fighting forward with no fear. hes still better then the avg ufc fighter. that belt is def out of his reach, and that in itself maybe a good reason to retire. but i still think chuck is a dangerous opponent and still capable of some highlight reel finishes. wanderlie is a great fighter and chuck still beat him convincingly recently. the choice should be his. and i agree he has 1 fight left so give him the chance to go out on a high note and revenge his loss against jardine. but hes still better then strikeforce crop of lhws, let em go there and make some good paydays then. chuck is a game fighter and you saw how disappointed he was after his recent losses. no1 wants to end their career like that. chuck do whats best for you and what feels right, but dont let any1 back you into a corner rich or not. shi* happens.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Lee Gerowitz says:

    Nolan Ryan is also still capable of throwing three 90 mile per hour strikes if there isn’t a batter standing in the batter’s box too.

    So, does a guy want to potentially have slurred speech down the road or does he walk away on a down-note, but still having a life that includes him being a legendary fighter and healthy human being?

    IMO…if you want to see Chuck fight, buy the new UFC Undisputed video game when it comes out.

    Shameless plug:)

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Grappo says:

    that was a really interesting article, not just the Chuck stuff. I wonder if Chuck would even be down for fighting for another organization. He’s UFC through and through.

    off topic, on the main page –

    Upcoming Events

    * May 23, 2009
    UFC 98: Lesnar vs. Mir II at 10:00 pm

    ?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Brandon says:

    So Chuck is to old to fight these young guns… yet he will have Randy Couture fighting young gigantic monsters like Lesnar….. double standard?

    I would LOL if Chuck ends up fighting for Affliction or Strikeforce!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Hank says:

    Lee Gerowitz is totally on-point. I’ll preface my main comment by saying that Chuck is my all-time favorite. When he got KOd by Shogun I was catatonic. I would have loved to have seen him climb back on top and I’d also like to see him fight again but I know he shouldn’t. It’s not the fact he lost — it’s the manner in which he lost. What troubles me so much about this situation is that while it’s fair to say he’s in physical decline as he nears 40, I don’t think his skills have demonstrably eroded as with some fighters. I thought he was doing some good stuff in both the Rashad and Shogun fight. So when guys on this board say he could still beat a lot of dudes in the UFC and other promotions they’re right — he could. Easily. But he’s been knocked out savagely in 3 of his last 4 losses. Each time with one punch. Does this tell anyone else there might be a neurological problem? Or at least the beginnings of one? You could be the most skilled fighter this side of GSP but if you can’t get hit in the head you can’t fight anymore. Makes me wonder if Dana knows something we don’t, as I would think Chuck had a neuro work-up after the Evans fight (since he was down for so long). I come from a professional boxing family and I’ve seen guys — name guys who you all would recognize — who have a variety of problems now. If in fact that’s what’s going on here, as I suspect, I don’t want to see the same repercussions for Liddell. You’ve done SLO proud, my man.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • egad81 says:

    I will keep it short for you all…

    #1 Offer chuck a nice salary as a scout for the UFC. Keep him in the fold and making money.

    #2 If Chuck wants to fight they should give him 1 more big name fight. He deserves that.

    #3 If Chuck want to retire…. HALL OF FAME IMMEDIATELY

    #4 CHUCK vs DANA !!!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • jasonah says:

    I think there’s more to this, than the fans know, Dana white was saying stuff like he knew this was Chuck’s last fight..And as directly telling chuck he need’s to retire.I think there could be a Medical condition, that might be in it’s early stages.And that’s being kept quite about. I think Dana knows something we don’t.He’s probably been told to stop Fighting By a doctor,or two.When Dana say’s this will be a war if he don’t retire.He let Tito go, and Shammy,Cro cop,Arlovski,Big Timmy,Babalu.His attitude is”who cares”. But They way chuck has went in the past 2 years of having a chin built out of Granite,To a chin built out of tin foil is kind of strange.They used to say chuck would get rocked alot in training,And if this is the case ,I can see why Dana is so adament him retiring.Saying”I dont want to make a nickle on that” The way I see it is fill in the blanks and We know what’s up!!!!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • buzzcramp says:

    I agree with Dana that it’s time for him to retire, but don’t agree with him forcing him to. Guys like Liddell will die in that ring and that’s the way they want it… so let him have the freedom to do what he wants. He’s a grown man, if he wants to get beaten into a coma then that should be his right, it’s not Dana that’s been training and getting in the ring all these years.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • buzzcramp says:

    Just to add… what Dana SHOULD be running around saying is that Chuck will not be fighting in the UFC again, because I’ll bet my entire paycheck he will be fighting somewhere.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • RU486 says:

    One of the happiest moments in MMA for me was when after Chuck / Randy 3 when Randy retired and the organization all but threw him a parade. I think Chuck should be booked for his last fight in his contract against someone that you know won’t knock him out (Griffin maybe?) and let it be his last fight. Let Chuck go out in style, win or lose. And make an event out of it.

    It does seem awfully suspicious that Dana is so adamant about him not fighting, when he booked 46 year old Randy against the Abrams Tank in Brock Lesnar. Perhaps there is some neurological damage there that they know about that has been kept quiet.

    As far as Dana keeping Chuck from fighting? He kept Randy from fighting for two years because of his contractual obligations to the UFC. The only reason Randy came back to the UFC was so he could fight those last couple of fights and be free of their influence. Dana could do the same with Chuck, just not release him and keep him from fighting with his 1 remaining fight in his contract.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • inkythewinky says:

    prime example that thier are no friends in buisness, dana is willing to war with chuck ….over what?!!!!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Lito Ortiz says:

    Dana needs to let Chuck make is own decisions. I really don’t buy the whole thing with Chuck being too old and done. He let Ken Shamrock fight till he was past 40 but he can’t let Chuck Liddell fight. That don’t make sense. It’s not like Chuck was being completely dominated in the fights he lost. I think Dana dont want him to fight that last fight just so he has control over Chuck and so no other orginazation could pick him up.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • snoochy says:

    chuck has definately lost something in his recent fights and im sure we will all find out soon as to whether or not there is any medical issues with him. what is with the fans calling the Silva v lietes fight boring ? Silva has so much to offer but he doesnt want to give every opponent 100% cos not all of his challengers deserve it. Rich Franklin saw the great Anderson Silva pound his butt probably cos Silva saw him as a potential threat and he respected Franklins fight game whereas lietes was measured up in the first round and proved to be no threat, more annoying than anything with his average stand-up and eagerness to fall on his back over a dozen times and hope Silva would join him on the mat !

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Austin says:

    he’s trying to protect a former champion of the UFC. Not Chuck Liddell. He doesn’t want to see the credibility of the UFC go out the window. I think I support dana for once. Protect your brand. Hold him to the contract, and don’t let him fight the last fight.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Dana, Dana, Dana there you go again playing god. It is up to Chuck Liddell when Chuck Liddell retires. Threatening him if he wont?! Cuz he’s forty?! Randy was 44 and retired and you offered him an instant title shot at HW!!!. Shut up and try and run the company not other people’s lives.

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  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Yeah [expletive] Chuck [expletive] do what I [expletive] say or there [expletive] will be [expletive] war, [expletive] ya. I’m [expletive] Dana [expletive] White for [expletive] sake! and I [expletive] rule the [expletive] UFC!. But I might give you a title shot at HW when you are 44. [expletive] [expletive] [expletive]…[expletive].

    P.S.I’m [expletive] Dana [expletive] White bitch.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • mu_shin says:

    Gerowitz and Hank at least seem to have read and analyzed the comments made by Dana White, and unlike many who ascribe nefarious motives to every word uttered by the Poet of MMA, acknowledge the true concern and friendship inherent in those remarks. Read the words, forget the expletives, and listen to what White is actually saying: I love this guy, he helped my build this business, and I don’t want to see my friend permanently injured, so he should retire.

    I am not familiar with the medical and legal requirements necessary to be licensed as an MMA fighter in the US. I am under the impression that boxers are subject to CT and/or MRI scanning after being knocked out, but I do not know if this is a prerequisite to being licensed to fight. I find it unlikely that Chuck Liddell is harboring an undisclosed neurological injury, but we all know that athletes like All-Pro Super Bowl quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Steve Young have been “encouraged” to retire after suffering multiple concussions. It seems to me like Dana White is trying to encourage his close friend to consider a similar perspective.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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