Ultimate Fighting fans know Chuck Liddell as The Iceman. But since retiring last year, the 41-year-old mixed martial artist now is known as The EVP -- the executive vice president of business development for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He also is featured in the new DVD and Blu-ray release "UFC: Bad Blood -- Liddell vs. Ortiz," which documents Liddell's long-standing rivalry with fellow MMA superstar Tito Ortiz. Liddell, who also competed on "Dancing With the Stars," jokes that taking a roundhouse kick to the face is nothing compared with mastering the pasodoble.
Q: What is your favorite vacation destination?
A: We were just in Australia, and it was amazing. We went to Melbourne, Perth and the Gold Coast. When we were in Melbourne, they said it was like Chicago. And that seemed about right. I really do like Chicago. I'm usually not a big city person, but Chicago has always been great. Anyhow, I'd like to make it back to Australia. I haven't been to Sydney yet, and I'd like to visit there. I like Hawaii too and try to get there a couple times a year. I'm not really good at surfing, but I've got my kids started, and they're really enjoying it.
Q: Do you prefer to vacation in cold or warm destinations?
A: I'd say that I tend to favor warm weather places. But I've just started snowboarding, and I'm really having a lot of fun doing that. I'm really just a 12-year-old kid if you look at my maturity level. My kids laugh at me because I'm just like them. We have a great time together. I also heard that Japan has an ice sculpture fest that I'd like to see. I speak a little bit of Japanese, just from my martial arts training growing up.
Q: What is an underrated country?
A: Canada. I love traveling up there. They have some of the nicest people I've ever met. It does get a little cold up there, but it's still worth visiting. I'll be going to Toronto in a couple weeks for work, and I'm really looking forward to it.
Q: What hotels stand out?
A: I like the Montage hotels (montagehotels.com). In Las Vegas, I've always loved the Red Rock Resort (redrocklasvegas.com) and the Palms (palms.com). The W Hotel (wsouthbeach.com) in Miami was pretty awesome as well.
Q: What are some of your favorite cities?
A: For buildings, it's Paris. For relaxing in the sun, it's Miami. I always have a good time there. Foodwise, I'd have to go with Paris and anywhere in Italy. I'm a big Italian food fan.
Q: What would be your dream trip?
A: I've always heard great things about the Greek Islands, and I've never been there. So that's a definite must.
Q: What is your guilty pleasure when you're on the road?
A: When I'm on vacation, dieting is off. And if great food is around, I will eat every chance that I get. I remember being asked in Italy, "Are you going to stop eating any time soon?" Because I'd want to eat again after a couple hours. I like to try all kinds of foods, and I'll try just about anything at least once. I love spicy food. One time after I did an interview about liking hot sauce, people sent me all these bottles of ridiculously spicy bottles of hot sauce. But I don't mind. As long as it tastes good, I'll take another bite!
For more from the reporter, visit jaehakim.com.
Australia has a hold on 'Iceman' of martial arts
Chuck Liddell (TK photo)