As former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell straps on his dancing shoes to compete in this season of Dancing With the Stars, he can be rest assured that UFC President Dana White will be in his corner cheering him on.
“I think it’s interesting,” White told MMAJunkie.com. “I think that it’s great because Chuck needs something to do with his time right now, and he’s taking it serious and he’s training for it. It’s good to see him fired up and taking something serious and back in the gym.”
Liddell’s stint on DWTS comes at the perfect time, since Liddell has taken a break from fighting following his TKO loss to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in April. Following the loss, White publicly encouraged Liddell to retire and pursue other career options.
“I don’t know what else there is to accomplish, what else there is to do,” White noted during the UFC 102 pre-fight press conference last week. “The guy’s 40 years old. Not everybody is Randy Couture, and let’s be honest, Chuck Liddell hasn’t been as good to his body as Randy Couture has.”
White recently worked out with Liddell and noted that the former UFC light heavyweight champion appeared to be out of shape.
“[Liddell and I] were working out together in Philly (during the week of UFC 101),” White noted. “Did you see him in Philly? He was telling me he weighed 232 (pounds). He’s full of [expletive]. He looked like he weighed about 250.”
White went on to make a $10,000 wager with “The Iceman”, where the Iceman has to get down to 214 lbs. by September 15th. White admits that he made the bet before he realized that Liddell would be appearing on DWTS.
“That was before I knew he was on [expletive] Dancing with the Stars and was going to start training for it,” White said. “I couldn’t believe he was acting so confident about it. Then I found out he was doing Dancing with the Stars.”
Former contestants have reported that they lost excessive amounts of weight while prepping for the show. Liddell may be using his time on the ABC hit show to do more than just win a bet, and get back in shape to launch a UFC comeback.
“Chuck was texting me all night about fighting,” White stated after UFC 102 last Saturday. “When he’s done dancing, I’m sure he’s going to be looking for me.”
But for now, the Iceman is focused on performing on DWTS.
“I don’t know how good he’s going to be at it, but I can tell you this: He likes to dance,” White said.