While the war of words may be over between UFC President Dana White and John Hackleman, Chuck Liddell’s trainer, they still offer differing opinions on his future. While the former light heavyweight champion has yet to confirm his future plans, White insists that he’s retired.
“Chuck Liddell is retired,” White said during UFC 100 weekend in Las Vegas.
After losing four out of his last five fights, White said that he hopes that the former light heavyweight champion (and longtime friend) steps out of the octagon for good. He wants the man who put UFC on the map to be remembered as a champion.
However, Liddell’s long-time trainer insists that Liddell has yet to make up his mind, and it’s nobody’s decision but “The Iceman’s”.
“There’s no pressure on him, there’s no deadlines,” Hackleman said on Inside MMA last week. “There’s nobody that’s going to dictate to him what he’s going to do, when he’s going to retire or if he’s going to retire at all. That’s going to be completely up to him, and he’ll make his decision when he’s ready.”
White went on to praise Liddell, and said that he’ll always be taken care of.
“He’ll always be my guy,” White noted of Liddell to MMA Weekly. “He’s helped us build this business. He’s been a true friend, a true partner, and an amazing champion.
“Chuck’s all set,” he continued. “He doesn’t need to make any more money. Chuck’s made a lot of money. He’s become very famous and he’s got lots of stuff going on. He’ll always be, as long as I’m alive, he’ll do just fine.”
He later went on to say that politics would be the main reason if Liddell continues to fight.
“Chuck’s in a very weird political situation right now with a lot of different people,” White explained. “Chuck is such a good guy and such a loyal friend and an amazing person that he doesn’t say no to anybody. I don’t know all the ins and outs of it, but I’m sure enough people around him still need to make some money.”
Hackleman contends that while he thinks Dana White may have Liddell’s best interests in mind, that he’s doing the wrong thing for the right reasons.
“I think Dana was doing it [announcing Liddell’s retirement] out of caring,” Hackleman stated. “I think he loves Chuck and I think he did it looking out for Chuck’s best interests. A lot of people do the wrong things for the right reasons, and I think he had the right intentions and the right heart.”
While we have heard ad nauseum from White and Hackleman about Liddell’s retirement, Liddell has said that he plans on sitting out “for at least a year or so, just to let my head rest” before making an official decision about his future.