2010: The Iceman Era Ends

Posted: December 30, 2010 in Marketing, PR, UFC

I know many articles have been posted about Similar to my Goodbye posts to Frank Shamrock and Randy Couture, I needed some time before writing this one.

Dana White announced at yesterday’s pre-UFC 125 press conference that Chuck Liddell was retiring from the fight game. However, he was not retiring from the UFC altogether. White has announced that Liddell would become the new executive vice president of business development for the UFC. Lorenzo Fertitta stated that Liddell would work on regulatory issues, with rules commissions, and with fighter relations as the UFC works to expand globally.

According to some reports, Fertitta himself will be retiring from all aspects of the UFC. For those that may be raising an eyebrow at the promotion of Liddell, this new gig isn’t just for show. Liddell, will be involved in the daily business development of the organization and will help lead the UFC’s international expansion. In recent years, he helped the UFC campaign for regulation in new states, and he’s served as an MMA ambassador in various platforms. According to White, Liddell’s seat at the table will carry the same weight as the existing executive board.

Multiple articles have stated UFC President Data White has said “We all owe a lot to Chuck Liddell.” Very true. In addition to being a great champion, and a great spokesperson Liddell brought the sport more mainstream than any other athlete had prior (including Ken Shamrock during his WWE years). With magazine covers, television spots and movie cameos – there is little that the Iceman hasn’t touched in his illustrious MMA career.

If you are new to the sport, orhave been raised on Mars, here are just some of the highlights:

  • 21-7 record, including a 16-6 mark in the UFC.
  • 2003 PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix Semi-Finalist
  • Sherdog 2006 Fighter of the Year
  • UFC Light Heavyweight Championship (Held from 2005-2007)
  • UFC Hall of Fame Inductee
  • 2x UFC TUF Coach – both times producing a champion.
  • Defeated the likes of Vitor Belfort, Jeff Monson, Jeremy Horn, Renato Sobral (2x), Tito Ortiz (2x), Randy Couture (2x), and Wanderlei Silva.
  • Named the “Most Dangerous Man” at the Spike TV Guys’ Choice Awards in2007
  • Became the first UFC fighter to be on the cover of ESPN The Magazine in May 2007

Thanks for everything, Chuck.  The MMA world owes you a lot. As a guy interested in the business of MMA, I’ve enjoyed what you did for the sport in the cage and I look forward to seeing what you do for it from behind the desk.

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Comments
  1. I’m glad to see Chuck Liddell transition to a new phase in his MMA career. He has given and will undoubtedly continue to give a lot as the UFC continues to grow. I just wish he could also replace Goldie during PPVs. How awesome would his analysis and Rogan’s be? On a marketing side, what do you think he did best to give himself such mainstream recognition?

  2. […] Iceman recently hung up his gloves for an office job in the MMA world.  Should Couture – someone who has found an interest in […]

  3. […] There are a number of middleweights that I’m sure think they are more deserving, but they are not. A former champion who defended his title twice before the reign of the spider, Franklin is a PR machine for the world of MMA.  He showcases that not all fighters are “dumb brutes”, he always gives back to the community/armed forces, and – he proves he is the “company man” by bailing out UFC cards left and right. He has thrown himself into “catch weight” fights 3 times to help the UFC and saved a flopping TUF season when Tito Ortiz decided to pull himself out of his fight with Liddell.  The result? Liddell retired. […]

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