UFC - Chuck Liddel officially retired

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Chuck Liddell officially is retired from the UFC cage, but "The Iceman's" career isn't over.

The UFC Hall of Famer and former champion has turned in his fight gloves for a spot in the UFC's front office.

The 41-year-old MMA legend and business-school graduate today was named the UFC's executive vice president of business development.

"He's now on level and on par with all the top executives," UFC president Dana White said at today's pre-UFC 125 press conference at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

An emotional Liddell briefly addressed the media and fans. He thanked the UFC for a memorable career and said he looks forward to promoting a sport he helped put on the map.

"I love this sport, and I'm ready for a new chapter in my career," he said.

His new gig isn't a ceremonial one. Liddell, a former wrestler at Cal Poly who earned his bachelor's degree in business management and accounting, will be involved in the daily business development of the organization and will help lead the UFC's international expansion. In recent years, he also helped the UFC campaign for regulation in new states, and he's served as an MMA ambassador in various platforms.

"He's seen this sport evolve from a very niche sport to ... a worldwide sport," UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta said. "He's going to be very involved."

In recent years, White has struggled whether to announce Liddell's retirement while "The Iceman" appeared on the fence. The fighter wanted to continue to compete, but White felt he might need to protect Liddell after he went 1-5 in his past six fights with four knockouts. But White never wavered in his unabashed praise for the superstar.

"We all owe a lot to Chuck Liddell," he said.

Liddell retires with a 21-8 record, including a 16-7 mark in the UFC. His 16 wins in the organization were a previous UFC record, and the peak of his popularity coincided with the UFC's move into the mainstream.

Liddell, who turned pro in 1998, made his MMA and UFC debut at UFC 17. He won the UFC's light-heavyweight title in 2005 and made four consecutive title defenses before losing the belt to Quinton Jackson in 2007.

Good to see he still has a part, i was looking forward to the impending Chuck/Rampage fight personally, at least give Chuck a chance to go out on a high note..

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