Since WME-IMG purchased the UFC earlier this year, many longtime UFC employees have been let go by the new owners, but the most shocking may be that of former UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Hughes and former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell.
UFC President Dana White recently appeared on the UFC Unfiltered podcast to talk about why the two UFC Hall Of Fame members were let go by the promotion.
"When another company takes over another company, it’s absolutely normal for them to come in and especially at the executive level, to let guys go. They have guys that they are going to bring in that will fill those positions. Some of those people that have been let go, they have their own people ready for those positions. It’s their company, they roll in and they put in their people, it’s absolutely normal. A lot of our executives were let go, a company as big as WME-IMG, they have a ton of people for these positions. The Chuck Liddell, Matt Hughes thing, during the ZUFFA era, those were my guys,” White said. “I wanted them to retire, I respected these guys. They helped build this company when I was growing it and I told them both, I said, ‘Unless I drop dead or it comes to a position sometime where I’m not controlling how much money is being spent and all that stuff, you guys will get a paycheck until that day.’ And that day came. The thing with Matt and Chuck, it was a loyalty thing for me. It was my gift to them or being the guys that they were when me, Frank and Lorenzo, when it was our money."
Liddell hasn’t competed since a loss to former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin at UFC 115, while Hughes hasn’t competed since a loss to Josh Koscheck at UFC 135.