Last year Dana White declared that Chuck Liddell would never fight in the UFC again after being knocked out by Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua. Liddell took some time out, decided he wanted to continue fighting and eventually persuaded the UFC president to give him another chance.
Fast forward to last month and the cycle continued again. Once again Liddell lost by KO, this time at the hands of Rich Franklin and once again White stated that we had seen ‘The Iceman’ in the octagon for the last time.
In interviews since the fight Liddell still appears to be reluctant to call time on his career however, though he did admit that, “I guess I’m not taking shots like I used to.”
According to mmafighting.com White and Liddell will meet tonight to discuss his future, but prior to the meeting White has indicated to the site that if the fighter does not bow out gracefully then he will not continue to allow him to compete in the promotion that made him famous.
“I guess if he asks me to release him, I’d release him. That’s not what I want. But he’ll never fight in the UFC again,” White said after today’s pre-fight press conference for UFC 116.
That’s a very big statement from White, and given Liddell’s natural fighter’s instinct and determination to prove that he can still compete, it’s hard to rule out the possibility that this could conceivably happen.