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Chuck Liddell

Chuck ‘Iceman’ Liddell (born Charles David Liddell) was born on December 17th, 1969 in Santa Barbara, California. After starting his athletic career as a football player and street fighter, Liddell was simply destined for professional fighting.

The ‘Iceman’ started his career bouncing between the International Fighting Championship, the Ultimate Fighting Championship and the PRIDE fighting organizations. After taking a hard loss to Jeremy Horn due to submission with an arm triangle joke, Liddell went on to solidify a professional record of 12-1 by the beginning of 2002. UFC management quickly began attempts to schedule a fight between Liddell and then-heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz, but Ortiz continuously thwarted the attempts, citing scheduling conflicts. With a well-known name and high expectations surrounding him, Liddell agreed to fight heavy favorite Randy Couture for the UFC light heavyweight title, a class created by the UFC in order to force Ortiz to fight or quit. While Chuck fought well, Couture was continuously able to take him down and eventually won the fight by mounting Liddell and forcing a stoppage due to strikes.

Despite the loss, the UFC chose Liddell to be the organization’s heavyweight representative in Japan for the PRIDE 2003 Middleweight Grand Prix. Liddell made it to the tournament’s semi-final round with a win over Alistair Overeem but lost quickly and badly to Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson in the following round by TKO.

Liddell’s return to the United States and the UFC saw his opportunity to battle Tito Ortiz finally arrive. After losing to Randy Couture, Ortiz agreed to fight Chuck on April 2nd, 2004 in Las Vegas for the UFC 47 event. Ortiz taunted Liddell throughout the first round and, after a near-brawl erupted between the first and second round, Liddell had finally had enough. A flurry of punches early in the second round forced Ortiz to the mat with Liddell winning by technical knockout.

With Chuck’s notoriety building, he was chosen by the UFC to coach a team opposite Randy Couture for the Spike TV reality show The Ultimate Fighter. The season became a great success for both Spike and the UFC, and league management quickly began scheduling fights to test both Liddell’s abilities and his popularity.

A rematch with rival Randy Couture took place at UFC 52 with Liddell avenging his earlier loss with a first round knockout. The only other man to have beaten Liddell at this point in his career was Jeremy Horn, and the UFC scheduled a rematch for the two popular fighters at UFC 54 in a title bout. A different show then their first scrap, this fight saw Liddell in complete control. The ‘Iceman’ used his noted sprawl to defend against Horn’s takedown attempts for the first three rounds before ending the fight in the fourth round with a technical knockout.

A rubber match was arranged for Liddell and Couture at UFC 57 and Couture wasn’t able to come out on top. After Liddell won the fight with a knockout to retain the UFC light heavyweight championship Couture announced his full retire from MMA fighting. Another title defense was quickly scheduled for Liddell versus Renato Sobral and Chuck scored a quick TKO win at 1:35 of the very first round.

A rematch between Liddell and Ortiz was arranged to take place on December 30th, 2006 at UFC 66, and Liddell was well prepared. Using his wrestling tactics to keep Ortiz on his feet, Chuck was able to win the fight with a massive TKO in the third round. A rematch was next for Quinton Jackson, one of the few men to have defeated Chuck Liddell. Chuck was dropped quickly by TKO, losing his second straight match to Jackson.

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