It looks like we have seen the end of Chuck Liddell in the UFC after the knockout at UFC 115, Both Dana White and Liddell’s trainer have both said that they do not want to see the Iceman compete ever again in the cage. That said, I wanted to take a quick look back at some of Chuck Liddell’s best fights.
I can’t think of many other MMA fighters that have had as many exciting fights as Chuck Liddell. In his prime, the Iceman was practically unbeatable. Sure he hit a few road bumps, but there is a reason that Chuck Liddell ascended like no other fighter in MMA history to mainstream appeal. Fans always knew they were going to see an exciting fight when Chuck Liddell danced his way into the octagon.
So today I look back at five of Chuck Liddell’s greatest moments. As always, these are purely subjective but I don’t think that anyone could deny that we have seen some great Chuck Liddell moments in the octagon. Between big wins, fast knockouts, and exciting fights, Chuck Liddell always delivered.
1 – Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva UFC 79: Nemesis. In my opinion, this was the greatest fight in UFC history. The reason this one was so good is that not only did it live up to the hype, it exceeded all expectations. At the same time that Chuck was dominating the UFC, Wanderlei was dominating in Pride with fast knockouts, exciting fights, and big wins. Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva was every MMA fan’s dream match. The match delivered and was a pure slugfest for three rounds. Both guys had opportunities to knock the other out yet both showed chins of steel. Chuck and Wanderlei went toe to toe with every intention of delivering a great fight to the UFC fans. Liddell won a unanimous decision after three brutal rounds of action. For me, this was the greatest (and last best) moment of Chuck Liddell’s career.
3 – Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz UFC 47: It’s On! The torch was officially passed in this fight and it was on this night where Chuck Liddell officially became “the man” in the UFC. Liddell and Ortiz had been training partners and there were many reports that Liddell would handle Tito in practices. When the UFC officially declared Chuck as the number one contender to Tito’s UFC light heavyweight title, Ortiz walked and stalled for a year. This was arguably the first Super Fight of the second era of the UFC. Liddell dominated the fight as expected and caught Tito in the second round. The officially ruling was a TKO, although it was a knockout. It was the first knockout of Ortiz’s career and the night that the Chuck Liddell era in the UFC officially got under way.
4 – Chuck Liddell vs. Alistair Overeem Pride Total Elimination 2003. We travel outside of the UFC for one of Chuck Liddell’s Greatest Fights. Liddell traveled to Pride as a UFC representative to face the devastating kick boxer Alistair Overeem. Overeem was on a 12 fight win streak with all of his fights ending either via submission or TKO. Overeem caught Liddell real early with a left hand that dropped the Iceman to one knee. Overeem continued to dominate Liddell throughout the round with strikes and it looked like Liddell was going down several times. All of the action seemed to tire Overeem as he dropped his hands and the Iceman went nuts. Liddell peppered him with a barrage of knees and punches and a left finally dropped Overeem for the win. The victory was absolutely huge due to both Overeem’s reputation and the way Liddell came back after being brutalized for most of the round.
Did I leave anything off? Drop a comment here and let me know.
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