Chuck Liddell was the right man at the right time for the Ultimate Fighting Championship and became one of the central figures in moving mixed martial arts towards mainstream acceptance.
A fierce competitor who made the spectacular commonplace in victory and defeat, Liddell was the class of the light heavyweight division for the better part of a decade. He left a number of celebrated victims in his wake during a historic run that included two seven-fight winning streaks in the UFC. “The Iceman” made his Octagon debut at UFC 17 on May 15, 1998, went on to become a pay-per-view magnet and reached the height of his power in December 2006, when he fought former training partner Tito Ortiz for a second time in the UFC 66 main event to the tune of more than one million PPV buys. Liddell did not age well inside the cage, but the fact that he lost five of his last six fights -- four of them by knockout -- did nothing to diminish the star he had built. He was enshrined in the UFC Hall of Fame on July 11, 2009, more than a year before he retired.
Here some of the numbers that have come to define Liddell, still a fan favorite:
1: Submission loss on his resume. Jeremy Horn was the culprit, as he finished “The Iceman” with an inverted arm-triangle choke in Liddell’s third professional bout at UFC 19 in March 1999.
5: UFC champions Liddell defeated during his 12-plus-year career. He beat Ortiz (twice), Randy Couture (twice), Vitor Belfort, Murilo Bustamante and Kevin Randleman.
7: Post-fight performance bonuses earned in the UFC. Liddell was honored twice for “Fight of the Night” and five times for “Knockout of the Night.”
8: First-round finishes to his credit. Liddell authored the quickest finish of his career at UFC 31 on May 4, 2001, when he knocked out Randleman in 78 seconds at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
11: Men other than Liddell who have captured the Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight title. They are Ortiz, Jackson, Belfort, Couture, Frank Shamrock, Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, Lyoto Machida, Mauricio Rua, Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier. Liddell’s reign lasted 770 days.
13: Wins by knockout or technical knockout. They account for 62 percent of Liddell’s career total.
14: Knockdowns landed in UFC competition. According to FightMetric, that figure puts Liddell third on the promotion’s all-time list, tying him with Donald Cerrone. Only Anderson Silva (18) and Jeremy Stephens (16) have more.
48: Years of age. Charles David Liddell was born on Dec. 17, 1969 in Santa Barbara, California.
80.4: Percent of takedowns Liddell successfully defended. That ranks seventh in UFC history in the category behind Jon Jones (95.0), Ryan Jimmo (87.5), Alexander Gustafsson (85.4), Gian Villante (85.0), Machida (81.8) and Ryan Bader (80.6).
237: Victories between the seven fighters who defeated Liddell. They were Horn (91), Couture (19), Jackson (37), Evans (19), Rua (25), Keith Jardine (17) and Rich Franklin (29). Only Jackson managed to beat Liddell twice.