Exclusive Interview With Chuck Liddell: "The Iceman" Hits The Links

Nate LawsonCorrespondent IJuly 17, 2009

After years of dominance in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell will trade in his four ounce gloves for a weekend in Lake Tahoe, Nevada when he participates in a charity golf tournament.

The American Century Championship is set to take place at the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course from July 17-19, with the Lance Armstrong Foundation as its official charity for the fourth consecutive year.

The Lance Armstrong Foundation has provided support and aid for people affected by cancer since its founding in 1997. With the motto “unity is strength, knowledge is power, and attitude is everything”, the foundation looks to gain even more attention through this tournament, which features some of the most notable sports figures on the planet.

Liddell’s competition will include a stacked list of celebrities, featuring superstars such as Michael Jordan and Emmitt Smith, along with many other participants stemming from most major sports organizations.

However, Liddell is not just another celebrity in the mix of fame gracing this tournament. Unlike the basketball stars and the gridiron giants, Liddell’s presence will make history as he will become the first mixed martial artist to compete in this charitable tournament.

Liddell has spent the past decade of his life participating in the brutal and taxing sport of mixed martial arts. Liddell looks at this tournament as “a nice change of pace”, as he trades the punches and kicks of mixed martial arts for the irons and drivers used in the seemingly unconquerable sport of golf; a sport he does not have much experience in.

“I wish I were a better player, and I have been working on it,” stated Liddell. “I’m just glad to be here.”

The tournament will feature three rounds, making up 54 total holes, a daunting task for any amateur golfer. Liddell, a very competitive individual, hopes to simply improve upon his golf game and figure out how to be successful at the tricky sport.

“(I’m) trying to get better,” said Liddell. “I don’t like being bad at anything.”

As Liddell transfers his tenacity and will to win from the octagon to the golf course, the competitive nature of Liddell may be the factor that drives him towards the ever evasive success on the golf course.

“I’m competitive at everything,” exclaimed Liddell. “As soon as I’ve been playing this a while I’m going to be competitive no matter what.”

While Liddell may be out on the golf course for the next couple of days, he represents the world of mixed martial arts and the advancement it has made, while trying to compete with his fellow celebrities.

Just as Liddell claims his golf game will improve, the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion also recognizes the improvement and recognition gained by mixed martial arts and the UFC over the past several years, claiming that it will continue to break boundaries.

“I think it just keeps going up,” said Liddell referring to the current growth in his sport.“It’s a great sport and it’s going to keep growing.”

The Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course hosts the American Century Championship this coming weekend, with the second and third round being televised on NBC on the 18 and 19 of July, respectively.

The event brings together some of the most notable sports figures together to support the Lance Armstrong Foundation and all of its current and future endeavors to battle one of the world’s greatest enemies, cancer, by bringing unity, knowledge, and positive attitude to the forefront.

Although Liddell has not played enough to have a handicap and describes his game as “not very good”, the former UFC champion and still fan favorite will hit the links this weekend.

Mixed martial arts has a clear ambassador for the sport, as Liddell’s fame continues to gain notoriety for his organization and his livelihood.