Savagery and charisma brought Chuck
Liddell to the forefront of the
Ultimate Fighting Championship’s rise to mainstream
Liddell made his professional debut at UFC 17 on May 15, 1998, won
12 of his first 13 fights and gained a massive following in the
process, ultimately establishing himself as a superstar with
crossover appeal. “The Iceman” reached his peak in 2005, when he
became fifth man to capture the undisputed UFC light heavyweight
championship. Fighting under his trademark mohawk, the Californian
delivered 13 of his 21 career victories by knockout or technical
knockout, and while he did not age well as the miles piled up on
he remains a historical figure in the world of mixed martial
arts. Liddell was inducted into the pioneer wing of the UFC
Hall of Fame on July 11, 2009.
As Liddell settles into retirement, here are five things you might
not know about him:
1. The singlet provided him with a strong
A Santa Barbara, California, native, Liddell wrestled collegiately
at California Polytechnic State University (1988-93). He was
enshrined in the Cal Poly Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009.
2. He had staying power.
Liddell spent 770 days as UFC light heavyweight champion, the
third-longest reign in divisional history. Only Jon Jones
(1,501 days), Daniel
Cormier (1,315 days) and Tito Ortiz
(1,260 days) ruled for longer.
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3. The resume jumps off the page.
“The Iceman” posted 11 victories over former UFC,
Pride Fighting Championships and Strikeforce
titleholders, accounting for more than half of his career total.
Liddell defeated Ortiz (twice), Randy
Couture (twice), Renato
Sobral (twice), Wanderlei
Randleman and Alistair
4. There was an outlier.
Liddell executed the only submission victory of his career when he
Williams with a rear-naked choke at a Neutral Grounds event on
March 31, 1999. Interestingly enough, it came on the heel s of his
only submission loss, as Liddell had succumbed to a Jeremy Horn
arm-triangle choke 26 days earlier at UFC 19.
5. The numbers confirm his greatness.
Liddell stamped his name in the UFC record book. He still ranks
first on the promotion’s all-time list for light heavyweights in
knockouts (nine) and knockdowns landed (14), second in title fight
wins (five), third in total wins (15), sixth in appearances (19)
and ninth in takedown defense (.804).
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