The UFC (owned by WME-IMG) recently parted with 10-15 employees according to a report filed by Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting, two of those employees who were let go are UFC Hall Of Fame members Matt Hughes and Chuck Liddell.
"The UFC has been great to me," Hughes told MMA Fighting. "Times change, and I understand the decision that was made. I will move on. My family and I are fine. I do love adventure, and who knows what's next for me."
Hughes (45-9-0) is a former two-time UFC Welterweight Champion, he defeated both Georges St. Pierre and Carlos Newton to begin his reign. Hughes retired in 2011 after suffering a defeat to Josh Koscheck at UFC 135, Hughes ended his career on a two fight losing streak. Hughes was one of the UFC longest reigning employees, as either a fighter or in a behind the scenes capacity,, he has been with the company since 2001.
Liddell hasn’t issued a statement of any kind since the news broke. He is a close friend of UFC President Dana White.
Liddell (21-8-0) is a former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, he defeated Randy Couture at UFC 52 to begin his lone reign as champion. Liddell only won just one of his last five fights before retiring in 2010, his last fight was a loss to Rich Franklin at UFC 115. Liddell was also a coach on two seasons of the UFC Ultimate Fighter (opposite Randy Couture & Tito Ortiz) and he had been with the UFC since 2000.
The identities of the other employees who were let go are unknown at this time, but Hughes and Liddell are arguably the two highest profile employees let go since WME-IMG took over.