UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell is routinely recognized as one of the greatest champions in UFC history. But outside the cage, there’s one interview that always comes back to haunt him.
Back in 2007, Liddell was in Dallas on a promotional tour where he made an appearance on the WFAA “Good Morning Texas” show. Liddell was slurring his speech and barely coherent when answering questions to the point where the show’s host had to shake him awake to see if he could still continue the interview.
The situation got so much publicity that Liddell had to undergo a drug test in the state of Nevada before being sanctioned for his next fight in the UFC.
Now 14 years later, Liddell had the interview brought up to him again, this time by his former boss, UFC President Dana White, who addressed the building of superstars in the promotion and the pitfalls that can often times accompany such fame.
“The harder part is these guys dealing with the fame and the money and the girls and all these things that come along with it,” White said while appearing on Liddell’s “Icebreakers” podcast. “We had that moment with Chuck.
“This dude was fighting his ass off. He was ruling the world. He was cashing big f*cking checks. He had sponsors, he had all that sh*t, but as much of a rock star as he was inside of the sport, he was outside the sport, too. Meaning in the clubs and f*cking hanging out and doing all that sh*t. Ended up in the infamous interview he did down in Texas, where I don’t know, he was out partying all night.”
That’s when Liddell jumped into explain what really happened that led to his dazed state while attempting to answer questions on the Texas morning show.
“I’ll take the record for that one,” Liddell said. “Actually that night I didn’t go out. I hadn’t gone out cause I was sick from going out.
“I took Ambien. My buddy gave me Ambien. I was having problems sleeping. I don’t know how they woke me up. They didn’t wake me up mentally, but they got me to that show somehow. I don’t know how.”
According to White, he was so concerned about Liddell’s well being after seeing that interview that he jumped on a plane alongside former UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta to find out what was happening with the promotion’s light heavyweight champion.
“Me and my partner Lorenzo [Fertitta], right after that interview, jumped on a plane and flew straight to where he was and sat down with him — ‘Chuck, what the f*ck is going on?’” White relayed.
“To see if there was anything he needed that we could help him with. We’re involved with pretty much everything to do with these guys’ lives while they’re here with us.”
If Liddell’s demeanor during the interview wasn’t bad enough, he also added that the foggy haze from the pills he took that night didn’t wear off until after he returned home again … even if he doesn’t remember how he got there.
“For me, I didn’t even remember getting home,” he said. “I was in Texas, I had to fly to San Diego and somebody drove me from San Diego to [San Luis Obispo], and I don’t remember getting home. That’s how bad that was. It was the weirdest.”