(Video courtesy Vimeo/MMANews.se)
Our Swedish friends from MMANews.se caught up with Chuck Liddell following the UFC’s announcement yesterday that "The Iceman" retired and effective immediately would be taking on the role of Executive Vice President of Business Development with Zuffa LLC and it seems that the former UFC light heavyweight champion is unsure about what his job will entail.
Chuck attempted to explain his role as diplomatically as he could from what little details he had been given about the job, but the iconic UFC fighter admitted he wasn’t quite sure what he would be doing from day to day.
"Well, we’re gonna get more into the details of it, but it’s business development, so I’m gonna be working with all the new projects and different things trying to help and promote the sport and the UFC. I’m gonna be doing that. I need something. I’m competitive and I need something to keep me driven. I need something to go after and do. I think this is probably the best way that I can keep continuing to grow the sport."
As far as why he took so long to decide about his retirement, Liddell said that he decided his days of fighting were up a few months back, but he wanted to be well removed from the emotional state he was in when he knew for sure that he was done competing for good.
"I made the decision a while ago, but I wanted some time to kinda come to grips with it so I wouldn’t get as choked up as I did sayin’ it. You know, it’s just…uh…uh…uh..I talked it over with my family and friends and it’s time. I’ve been fighting — between kickboxing and MMA I’ve been fighting for over, almost 20 years," Liddell explained. "I made the decision a few months ago, but I asked them to keep it quiet, because they wanted to announce it, so I could hopefully not [get emotional], but it’s hard, man. I’ve been competing my whole life and it’s really hard to walk away when that’s all you know. That’s what I do. This is a way for me to go away and still stay involved with promoting the sport through the UFC."
When asked whether or not he might pull a Randy Couture and renege on his retirement, Liddell, seeming like the decision was made for him, answered resolutely.
"Last time when they asked me that when I took a year off, I kept saying, ‘I’m takin’ time off.’ This is retirement. I was hoping to make a run for it, but it didn’t happen. I got caught and it’s just not in the cards. I’m retired."
It’s likely that UFC president Dana White dangled the new job in front of Liddell’s nose following the Franklin fight to entice Chuck into calling it quits since he really didn’t put too much thought into what he would do if he retired, besides working for the UFC.
"I wasn’t sure [what I was going to do if I didn't get the offer from the UFC]," Liddell said. "I probably would have run a gym or go to training or some other stuff."
(Video courtesy Vimeo/MMANews.se)
According to White, who cited his longtime friendship with Chuck as the reason behind him being offered the position with the company, Liddell’s position is the highest position next to his job and the details of his role will be ironed out in the near future.
"The way I look at it is, this guy’s been building the UFC for years for us anyway. He’s just doing it in a different capacity now. Chuck Liddell’s been a loyal friend, a great champion…I couldn’t say enough great things about him. He deserves this and it’s a proud day for me to have him [become] a part of the company."