Chuck Liddell - The Iceman of MMA
By: Adrian Adams
One of the most well known names in the world of mixed martial arts is the Ultimate Fighting Championship, more simply referred to as the UFC. The UFC has been a place for many fighters to show their skills and gain fame as professional fighters. One of the more prominent names in the sport of UFC is Chuck Liddell.
Liddell started his martial arts training at age 12. Liddell fights out of San Luis Obispo, California. He is a California born and raised fighter. He went to college at California Polytechnic State University where he wrestled and graduated with a major in accounting. Despite his accounting degree, Liddell worked as a bouncer and bartender before he started his full-time fighting career.
Chuck made his first appearance in the UFC in 1998 fighting in UFC 17. He made his way up the ranks and by 2002, Liddell was the number one contender for the light heavyweight title, which was held by the controversial Tito Ortiz. Liddell and Ortiz had trained together at the Pitfight Club and had a falling out. Ortiz was unwilling to give Liddell a shot at the title, so Liddell was instead scheduled to fight Randy Couture, a veteran of the UFC and former heavyweight champion.
Liddell lost to Couture and Couture later beat Ortiz and became the light heavyweight champion. It was only after Ortiz lost the title that Liddell finally got to fight his bitter rival. In UFC 47, Liddell knocked Ortiz out with a series of brutal punches to claim victory for himself.
In UFC 52, Liddell once faced off against the veteran fighter and light heavyweight champion, Randy Couture. This time, Liddell knocked out Couture and claimed the light heavyweight title. Couture announced his retirement following his loss of the title. Liddell successfully defended the light heavyweight title four more times before he lost the belt to Quinton "Rampage" Jackson in UFC 71. Liddell had held the light heavyweight champion belt for just over two years.
Chuck Liddell is considered one of the most dangerous men in the UFC. This is partly due to his unconventional fighting style. Liddell is trained in Karate-Do, Brazilian Jui-Jitsu, wrestling and kickboxing. He holds a black belt and is very dangerous both on his feet and on the mat. Liddell fights in a very relaxed style that is disconcerting to his opponents and makes his actions hard to anticipate.
His "hands down" approach to fighting makes for intense and exciting fights. This has contributed greatly to his popularity in the sport of mixed martial arts among the many fans. Liddell is one of the most widely recognized and well liked competitors in the UFC. Liddell has supreme knockout power that ensures that the majority of his victories are won by knockouts rather than by the judges' decision.
When the UFC launched their reality series in 2005, titled The Ultimate Fighter, Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture were chosen to be coaches for the two teams of up and coming mixed martial arts fighters. At that time, Randy Couture held the belt for the light heavyweight division, and Liddell was promised a shot at the belt following the conclusion of the reality series.
Both of the finalists from The Ultimate Fighter were members of Team Liddell and were given contracts to fight with the UFC. Diego Sanchez and Forrest Griffin were the winners of the reality series and both went on to make a name for them with the UFC. Liddell was indeed granted a fight to Couture where Liddell won in a first round knockout, and Couture subsequently retired.
Part of Liddell's widespread recognition in the UFC is due to his media coverage. Liddell is a poster child for one of the top sponsor's of the UFC, Xyience Energy Drinks. Liddell was also the first UFC fighter to appear on the cover of ESPN Magazine. He has since founded his own clothing brand and made appearances on several TV talk shows and magazine covers. Chuck Liddell doesn't plan on going anywhere and intends to keep fighting in the UFC.
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