'Iceman' Chuck Liddell calls it quits after sterling MMA career

Click here to read Tribune reporter Patrick Pemberton's story about Chuck Liddell's retirement.

Former light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell, one of the pioneers of modern mixed martial arts, has retired from professional fighting.

The "Iceman" said Wednesday that he will become an executive vice president for business development with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the promotion that rocketed him to stardom in the United States more than a decade ago.

Liddell announced his retirement during a news conference for UFC 125 on Saturday night.

The former collegiate wrestler made his UFC debut in 1998 and quickly became one of the sport's most popular fighters. He fought nearly every big name in mixed martial arts, including Randy Couture, Tito Ortiz and Wanderlei Silva.

His last fight was a knockout loss to Rich Franklin at UFC 115 in June.