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UFC

Liddell retires

UFC 125 is LIVE on PPV Jan. 1!

UFC President Dana White started Wednesday’s live press conference for the lightweight title fight between champion Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard at UFC 125 with a surprise announcement regarding one of the sport’s most respected icons. In front of assembled media and fans at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, White broke the news that former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and UFC Hall of Fame member Chuck Liddell, a true pioneer and legend in the sport, is retiring from competing in the UFC.

White’s announcement however, was not about the end of a career, but rather just a change in Liddell’s future, because White also announced that Liddell is UFC’s new Executive Vice President of Business Development.

“Chuck is the perfect example of a UFC athlete, someone who is smart inside the Octagon and smart in business,” White said. “With his background and expertise, Chuck is exactly the guy we need to work with regulators in existing and new jurisdictions, and work with all of the UFC athletes, as we grow this business around the world.

“Many people helped get us to where we are today,” White continued. “But there has been one guy that really stands out, as a great fighter, a great champion, a great partner, and a great friend.  So I am thrilled to announce that Chuck is now one of our top executives.”

At today’s live press conference for UFC 125, Liddell took to the podium to express his gratitude for the support shown by the UFC, his fans, family, and friends during his career. He also spoke of his desire to make an immediate impact in his new role by helping UFC continue its global expansion.

“I love the sport and I’m excited to go into a new stage in my life and keep promoting something that I love,” Liddell said. “I’ve enjoyed everything about being a professional athlete and a UFC champion. At this point in my life though, the real challenge for me is to continue helping the UFC become the global powerhouse that we all know it will become. I look forward to working with everyone at the UFC, especially all of the fighters, to make the UFC the biggest and most successful sports organization.”

UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta noted that Liddell’s duties will include work on fighter relations and government regulation throughout the U.S. and internationally, but that Liddell’s main focus would be on developing new business for the company.

Liddell began fighting in the UFC in 1998 and is a legend in MMA with a career that has included a stellar run as a world class athlete, gym owner, trainer, and Coach on Seasons 1 and 11 of The Ultimate Fighter®.  In addition, Liddell graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with an Accounting degree.  So, Liddell’s combination of business acumen and athlete spirit makes him perfectly suited to work at UFC, the fastest growing sports organization in the world.

For more information, or current UFC fight news, visit UFC.com.

Ultimate Fighting Championship® – www.ufc.com

Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, and headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., UFC® produces over twelve UFC live Pay-Per-View events annually and 30 live arena events around the world.  UFC programming is distributed in the United States on Viacom, Inc.’s Spike TV and on Comcast, Inc.’s Versus network.  UFC content is distributed commercially through Joe Hand Promotions in the U.S. and Canadastar in Canada.  Globally, UFC programming is broadcast in over 147 countries and territories, reaching 430 million homes worldwide, in 19 different languages.  Ancillary businesses now include UFC.com with over 5 million unique visitors per month, the best-selling UFC “Undisputed” videogame franchise distributed by THQ, UFC Gym™, UFC Fight Club affinity program, UFC Fan Expo™ festivals, branded apparel, trading cards, articulated action figures and other media including best-selling DVDs and a U.S. bimonthly magazine.

Ultimate Fighting Championship®, Ultimate Fighting®, UFC®, The Ultimate Fighter®, Submission®, As Real As It Gets®, Zuffa®, The Octagon™ and the eight-sided competition mat and cage design are registered trademarks, registered service marks, trademarks, trade dress and/or service marks owned exclusively by Zuffa, LLC and licensed to its affiliated entities and other licensees in the United States and other jurisdictions. All other marks referenced herein may be the property of Zuffa, LLC, its affiliates or other respective owners.For more info on UFC 125, check out www.UFC.com




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