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Dana White: I'll Release Chuck Liddell if He Wants to Fight Again

Chuck LiddellLAS VEGAS -- UFC President Dana White and former light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell haven't had a chance to sit down and talk since Liddell's recent knockout at the hands of Rich Franklin.

That changes Thursday night. White and Liddell are scheduled to have dinner, and though there is no official agenda, it's quite likely the subject of fighting again will come up.

But White says this time, there will be no going back on his word. This time, there is no chance that Liddell can convince him for one more run in the octagon.

"He can not do it again," White said shortly after a UFC 116 press conference. "It will not happen again. This is a guy I care about and respect and consider a friend."


White reiterated as he has in the past that Liddell got one final chance because he changed his lifestyle, trained harder than he had in years and took some time off to recover from being knocked out in two previous fights. But even after all that, he couldn't stop Franklin from being the third straight fighter to finish him, this time on a short right hand near the end of the first round.

Overall, it was Liddell's fifth loss in the last six fights.

"My problem isn't with Chuck Liddell getting in shape or any of that stuff," he said. "My problem is with Chuck's chin. Anybody who's been in the sport long enough knows you used to be able to hit him in the face with a crowbar and you couldn't even wobble him. And that's not the case anymore. It's not worth it to me."

The 40-year-old Liddell, who recently admitted in an interview that "I guess I'm not taking shots like I used to," also seemed to hedge on the retirement issue, saying it was not a decision he was prepared to make.

But if Liddell -- who had his wax likeness unveiled by the world famous Madame Tussauds museum Thursday -- wants to continue his fighting career, he'll have to do so out of the UFC.

"I guess if he asks me to release him, I'd release him," he said. "That's not what I want. But he'll never fight in the UFC again."
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