Liddell Recruited for ‘Dancing with the Stars’

By Jake Rossen Aug 17, 2009
What, Kalib Starnes wasn’t returning phone calls? ABC has circulated word that this season’s cast of recurring ratings machine “Dancing with the Stars” will feature former UFC light-heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell. Liddell will join fifteen other contestants hoofing it up -- frequently awkwardly -- in ballroom competition, which premieres Sept. 21.

It was not long ago that NBC’s “Fear Factor” shunned any notion of an all-MMA show because the sport was too fringe for mass audiences; now Liddell is front and center on a program that attracted 22.5 million viewers for its last season premiere. His is likely to be the most famous Mohawk in the world in a matter of weeks. (I would’ve opted for Brock Lesnar for the cringe factor, but no one asked me.)

I’d wager the UFC didn’t book Liddell, since it makes more sense to get an active fighter for this kind of exposure. (ABC, less interested in the UFC’s bottom line, just wants a name brand personality.) Still, the UFC’s banner is likely to get a workout. And if Tapout never considered threading a three-piece suit before, they sure as heck are now.
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