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SLO's Chuck Liddell talks to KSBY about joining 'Dancing with the Stars'

Tuesday, August 18, 2009
/ Source: KSBY-TV

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Reported by: Ryan Foran

Mixed Martial Arts superstar and Central Coast resident Chuck Liddell is taking a step in a new direction.

The San Luis Obispo resident will be featured on the upcoming season of "Dancing with the Stars."

Liddell, who is a Santa Barbara native, will be joined on the show by fellow San Marcos High School alum and supermodel Kathy Ireland.

Some of the other 16 celebrity contestants include singer Macy Gray, NFL hall of famer Michael Irvin, entertainer Donny Osmond, and politician Tom Delay.

Liddell says just because he is putting on his dancing shoes doesn't mean he is retiring from fighting.

But he says he is training for it like a prize fight.

Once considered the badest man on the planet, the "Iceman" is stepping out of the octagon and stepping onto the prime time dance floor.

Liddell says he and his daughter are big fans of the show and he is hoping to promote the UFC with his appearance on it.

It's another audience for MMA, try to attract some of the fan base from "Dancing with the Stars", Liddell told KSBY News by phone from Los Angeles.

The former Cal Poly wrestler and football player is in L.A. where he started training for the show on Monday.

"My dancing experience is pretty much limited to dancing when I'm out, and I like to dance and have fun doing it, but no formal training whatsoever," Liddell said.

Liddell's longtime trainer John Hackelman says he does have a little former training, although we're not sure if it will actually help.

"I've been training him on the side. We've been working, no seriously, we've been working a little bit on the side. I've been teaching him the running man, Roger Rabbit, the smurf," Hackleman said.

We're also not really sure if Hackleman was joking or not, but he was pretty serious about one thing.

"Vote for Chuck Liddell. If you're anywhere in the SLO area, you better vote for Chuck, seriously," Hackleman said with a smile and a laugh.

Liddell says the producers of "Dancing with the Stars" have been trying to get him on the show for the past couple of years but it never worked out with his fighting schedule.