08-17-2009, 02:52 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Astoria, New York
From MMA Junkie
UFC badass and hall-of-famer Chuck Liddell to go "Dancing with the Stars" in Septemberby Dann Stupp on Aug 17, 2009 at 10:00 am ET
We suppose, if nothing else, it'll bring some street cred to ABC's "Dancing with the Stars."
UFC superstar and hall-of-famer Chuck Liddell will join 15 other celebrities on the upcoming ninth season of the reality-show competition, which pairs each celebrity with a professional dancer.
Liddell, perhaps not surprisingly, is the first mixed-martial-arts fighter to appear on the highly rated dance program, which debuted in the U.S. in 2005.
"I want to win," the 39-year-old Liddell told UFC.com. "I don't like losing in anything, so I'll work as hard as they'll let me."
Three other athletes will join Liddell this season: former NFL player Michael Irvin, Olympic gold-medalist swimmer Natalie Coughlin and professional snowboarder Louie Vito. The rest of the cast includes singer Aaron Carter, "Iron Chef America" host Mark Dacascos, politician Tom DeLay, singer Macy Gray, actor Ashley Hamilton, actress Melissa Joan Hart, model Kathy Ireland, model Joanna Krupa, actress Debi Mazar, singer Mya, reality star Kelly Osbourne and entertainer Donny Osmond.
Liddell last fought in April, when he suffered a knockout loss to Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 97 in Montreal. It was Liddell's fourth loss in five fights, and his third via knockout during that span.
After the fight, UFC president Dana White said the fighter would enter retirement. But Liddell and his trainer, John Hackleman, have repeatedly stated they haven't shut the door on the fighter's career, and earlier this month at UFC 101 Q&A session with fans, White said he didn't want Liddell fighting again but that he wouldn't stop him if he wants to make a return to the octagon.
Liddell, though, recently said he wouldn't return any sooner than next year, which opened the door for the "Dancing with the Stars" stint.
And before the harassment begins, keep in mind that many notable athletes have appeared on the show, including NFL legends Emmitt Smith and Jerry Rice; NBA Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler; Olympians Apolo Anton Ohno, Shawn Johnson, and Maurice Greene; and former boxing champions Evander Holyfield and Laila Ali.
Liddell said the show producers had contacted him previously about appearing on the show.
"They asked a couple different times, but it would be too much time to take off from training for fights," Liddell stated. "Now I donít have any fights coming up and I'm not training, so it's something to do."
Liddell also hopes to change the public perception of MMA fighters.
"I'm going to go out, be myself and show what kind of people we do have in this sport," he stated. "I'm sure the reaction will be mixed (among fight fans). My friends are going to be excited, and I'll never hear the end of it because they'll make fun of me, but it should be fun and I think everyone will like it."
The new season of "Dancing with the Stars" premieres Monday, Sept. 21 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear."