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Chuck Liddell, Michael Irvin join Dancing with the Stars

TSN.ca with CP Files

8/17/2009 12:12:41 PM

When the ninth season of Dancing With The Stars begins in September, there will once again be a lot of athletic representation.

Former UFC light-heavyweight champion Chuck 'The Iceman' Liddell and former Dallas Cowboy wide receiver and three-time Super Bowl winner Michael were among two of the 16 celebrities named to the show on Monday.

"I want to win," the mixed martial arts star told www.ufc.com. "I don't like losing in anything, so I'll work as hard as they'll let me."

Liddell (21-7) said he had been asked to join the TV show's cast before but was too busy fighting.

"I'm going to go out, be myself, and show what kind of people we do have in this sport," he said. "I'm sure the reaction will be mixed (among fight fans).

"My friends are going to be excited and I'll never hear the end of it because they'll make fun of me, but it should be fun and I think everyone will like it."

Other athletes that have signed on are professional snowboarder Louie Vito and US Olympic swimmer Natalie Coughlin.

Over the eight other seasons of the show, Athletes have faired well, with former Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith, US Short track speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno, Indy Racing League driver Helio Castroneves, former US Olympian Kristi Yamaguchi and US gymnast Shawn Johnson all winning their respective seasons.

NFL legend Jerry Rice has a second place finish, which is a feat that was later matched by defensive lineman Jason Taylor and Warren Sapp.  Boxer Laila Ali finished third as did former wrestler Stacy Kiebler.

Other hopefuls for the upcoming season include entertainer Donny Osmond; singers Mya, Macy Gray and Aaron Carter; actors Melissa Joan Hart, Debi Mazar and Ashley Hamilton (son of George); models Joanna Krupa and Kathy Ireland; reality stars Kelly Osbourne and Mark Dacascos ("the Chairman" on Food Network's "Iron Chef America"); along with Former Republican majority leader Tom DeLay. 

The contestants were announced on Monday's "Good Morning America" by "Dancing" host Tom Bergeron.

He also unveiled a new competitive twist.

"In the middle of our season, over three weeks, we're going to have double eliminations," said Bergeron. "We'll lose about half of our cast within that period. It will be a ballroom bloodbath."

Samantha Harris returns as co-host, with the panel of judges including ballroom judge Len Goodman and dancer-choreographers Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba.