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

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

Liddell, 41, 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.

"I've been fighting for a long time," Liddell told ESPN.com. "I talked to my family and friends about it. In this last fight, it seemed I wasn't able to take a shot like I used to. And I just haven't been able to put together wins. If I can't compete with the best or if I'm not fighting for a title, then I have nothing to prove."

Skiing

* Marlies Schild, of Austria, won a women's World Cup night slalom in Semmering, Austria, for her third victory of the season and 26th overall. Maria Riesch finished second to extend her lead in the overall standings on Lindsey Vonn.

* Michael Walchhofer, of Austria, added another victory to his farewell season, becoming the first skier to win the grueling World Cup downhill three times on the Stelvio course in Bormio, Italy.

Philly File

* The Soul named Ernesto Purnsley defensive coordinator/assistant head coach. Purnsley was an assistant in Chicago last season under Soul coach Mike Hohensee and was the defensive coordinator in Colorado when the Crush won the league championship in 2005.

Sport Stops

* Slovakian defensemen Martin Marincin and Peter Hrasko have been issued multigame suspensions for hits to the head during a 6-1 loss to the United States at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Buffalo.

* Former world No. 1 Justine Henin says she will nurse an elbow injury through next month's Australian Open, and she might be 6 months away from full strength. The seven-time Grand Slam winner last played a major event at Wimbledon in June.

* Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong won't compete in a New Zealand triathlon next month because of a sore left knee.

* Avi Cohen, a former Liverpool soccer defender who became the first Israeli to play in England's top league, died from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident last week. He was 54.

* Atina Bojadzi, a marathon swimmer who became one of Macedonia's most popular athletes after successfully crossing the English Channel, has died. She was 66.