Chuck ‘Iceman’ Liddell
Charles David Liddell (born December 17, 1969 in Santa Barbara, California), popularly referred to as Chuck Liddell, and also known as “The Iceman,” is a mixed martial artist with a background in kickboxing. He currently fights in the Ultimate Fighting Championship and is the Light-Heavyweight Champion. Primarily a striker, Liddell prides himself on his wrestling skills which he learned during his years at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he also earned a degree in business and accounting. He is a fearsome opponent both standing up and on the ground, and has endeared himself as a fan favorite. Liddell is associated with the Pitfight team and often enters the ring to the music of Minnesota metal band American Head Charge. Liddell was even featured in the bands music video for the song “Cowards”.
Liddell’s mixed martial arts journey began in 1998, when he earned a decision victory over a boxer named Noe Hernandez at UFC 17. From there, he went on to vanquish such opponents as Jose Landi-Jons, Guy Mezger and Kevin Randleman. Liddell was also matched against the skilled Middleweight champion, Murilo Bustamante; although Liddell received the judges’ decision, many dispute the victory. Despite his winning streak and strong performances, it wasn’t until he beat “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (although it was a tough fight) on the main event of UFC 37.5, that he was considered to be among the top echelon within the light heavyweight division Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Immediately following a loss to Randy Couture at UFC 43, Liddell prepared himself for a match against his controversial rival, Tito Ortiz. Both men had trained at the Pitfight Club and experienced a fall-out that would escalate as Ortiz taunted Liddell. On April 2nd, 2004 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Liddell defeated Ortiz at UFC 47. Since then, the tension between both fighters has been documented throughout the MMA world.
Recently, Liddell was seen on the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter, Spike TV’s breakthrough reality show featuring fighters new to the UFC competing for a UFC contract. Liddell served as coach of Team Liddell, while fellow fighter and concurrent UFC Light Heavyweight champ Randy Couture coached Team Couture. The series was a success for both Spike TV and the UFC. Both of the winners of TUF, Diego Sanchez and Forrest Griffin, were members of Team Liddell.
Liddell’s highly anticipated rematch with Couture on April 16, 2005 at UFC 52 – a championship bout – ended in victory for Liddell via first-round knockout. The fight was almost stopped at one point after Liddell’s finger had made contact with Couture’s eye, but the doctors permitted the fight to continue. This victory set the tone for a future rematch between Couture and Liddell.
Before that rematch would occur, however, Chuck was scheduled to defend his new title belt against a fellow UFC veteran Jeremy Horn, at UFC 54. All throughout the bout, Liddell dominated Horn with aggressive punches, causing knockdowns in multiple rounds. Liddell’s defensive wrestling ability stifled the bulk of Horn’s offense, which was centered around grappling and submission wrestling. Liddell eventually won the fight via TKO in 2:46 minutes of the fourth round, avenging a previous career loss and defending the championship.
On February 4th, 2006 at UFC 57, Liddell won, for a second time, a fight against Randy Couture via knockout in Las Vegas, Nevada to retain the Light Heavyweight championship belt. After the fight, Couture announced his retirement from the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Liddell was once romantically linked to one-time UFC host, multi-platinum pop artist, and Playboy model Willa Ford. He claims they currently are “just friends.”