Liddell Back in Gym, Weighing Return

By Loretta Hunt Oct 19, 2009
Fresh off a stint on ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars,” Chuck Liddell will now turn his attention to either making his Octagon return or becoming a coach and trainer to the next generation of fighters surrounding him in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

Liddell, 39, was stopped by Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 97 last April in Montreal, his second knockout loss in as many appearances. That night, UFC president Dana White, a longtime friend and former manager of the fighter, announced Liddell’s retirement. However, the former light heavyweight champion has politely intonated that he’s not quite ready to call it quits just yet.

“We’re still talking, so we’ll see,” Liddell told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Savage Dog Show” on Monday. “I still love fighting. I don’t know what we’re going to come up with. I’m going to start spending a lot of time training guys or get back in there –- one of the two.”

One thing Liddell is certain of, though, is that he has little interest in competing at heavyweight at this time.

“I’ll be at 205,” said Liddell of a potential return. “I’ve been walking around the last month and a half at 216, 215.”

Liddell’s aversion to the heavyweight division certainly quiets rumors that place him in the cage against fellow superstar Kimbo Slice, should the reformed streetfighter get past a yet-to-be-named opponent at “The Ultimate Fighter 10” finale on Dec. 5 in Las Vegas.

“Why would anyone even want to see me fight Kimbo?” asked Liddell. “I have no interest in that fight. Whatever. It is what it is. I guess I’d do it, if that’s who I had to fight to come back.”

Liddell’s appearance on the squeaky-clean “DWTS” served many purposes, not the least of which was unprecedented exposure with a demographic unfamiliar with MMA. Liddell placed 11th out of the 16 couples.

“I needed some time off,” said Liddell. “’Dancing’ actually gave me something to concentrate on and get in shape on. I just want to get back in shape and stay in shape and start training with people and see what I want to do.”

Liddell, along with coach John Hackleman, will likely decide the fighter’s next move on the mats.

“(White) wants me to look at it, to see how I feel in the gym. I always told him, I want to make that decision in the gym, so I want to get back there and move around with some people and see how I feel. If I feel good, I’m going to keep fighting to come back."
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