While White is on the record saying Liddell will never again fight in the Octagon, Liddell may still harbor some hopes about continuing to fight, if not in the UFC, then elsewhere. It's just not a decision that has yet to be reached.
"It's always cool hanging out with my friend, but Chuck's having a hard time with this thing," White said. "He told me tonight the show open messed him up, watching [UFC 116] open. This guy's in this longer than me. He's been around forever and loves the sport. All I'm hoping is that he makes the right decision.
"I'm hoping he's going to retire," White continued.
After taking off 14 months between fights, Liddell suffered his third straight knockout loss, this time at the hands of Rich Franklin at UFC 115.
Once one of the most dominant champions in MMA, Liddell has dropped five of his last six overall.
While White once criticized Liddell's trainer John Hackleman for what he believed to be unnecessary influence to continue, he now says that Hackleman and the rest of Liddell's coaching staff is neutral on the issue and that everyone knows Liddell has to make up his own mind on the matter.
"Their feeling is the same," he said. "These are guys that care about him and have been around him a long time. They're willing to back him and support him any way he wants. They're being friends."
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