The two hottest topics to come out of UFC 97 has been Chuck Liddell’s potential retirement and Anderson Silva’s disappointing performance. Dana White addressed them both in length in a new interview with InsideFighting.com.
While no official decision has been made by Chuck Liddell about his future as a professional fighter, in Dana White’s mind, it’s already a done deal. If Chuck tries to tell him otherwise, it’s going to be “war.”
Chuck Liddell is stupid rich. Chuck Liddell is done. He’s got nothing left to prove. He’s the most famous guy on earth. I love him like a f_cking brother and I don’t want to see him get hurt. There is no reason for it. He’s f_cking forty years old man. These guys that are fighting now are young, explosive, fast f_cking kids who are well rounded mixed martial artists. There’s no f_cking reason for Chuck Liddell to be out there at forty years old still fighting. I don’t want to make a f_cking nickel off that ever. Believe me, it will be a f_cking war if he tries not to retire, believe me. 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 f_cking did it all. We did it. We did it. It’s f_cking over. He’s forty years old, it is over. It was amazing that he was able to fight until he was forty. That’s what a bad motherf_cker he was. He has nothing to prove to anybody, period. It’s over. We did everything that we set out to do. It has been an amazing run, its been fun. We did it together, we stayed loyal to each other the whole time and we did everything that we hoped to do and now its over. He can do it financially. And plus, I’m going to bring him into the organization in some other way and he’s still going to make money. He’s been loyal to me and I’ve been loyal to him and that’s not going to change now that he’s retiring. He’ll always be a part of the organization. He’ll take on another role, he’ll still make money and he’ll be with me until the day we die.
What’s interesting about this is the legality of it. John Hackleman said Chuck has one fight left on his contract, so if he decides he wants to keep fighting, isn’t the UFC contractually obligated to offer him a fight? I don’t know, but it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out if Chuck doesn’t want to retire.
Dana also said he’s aware that Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Wanderlei Silva could be approaching the end of their careers, but doesn’t feel he has the same type of relationship with them like he has with Chuck to force them into retirement.
Moving on, Dana’s still clearly upset with the way the UFC 97 main event went down. He thinks Anderson has lost his killer instinct, and his solution is to put him in fights that will force him to fight like he used to.
When you really look at this thing and break it down he’s a crazy talented guy. He’s the Andy Warhol of mixed martial arts. He’s a artist but he hasn’t been his last two fights. He’s a f_cking shell of what he once was and its not because he’s old or broken down or anything. Now, I’m going to push Anderson. I’m going to put Anderson in fights with guys who are not afraid of him, the guys that are going to f_cking come after him….we’re going to make Anderson fight again.
Dana, hint, hint…
Image courtesy of the National Post.