Chuck Liddell is a mixed martial artist who currently fights for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. A former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Liddell has an extensive background in Kickboxing and collegiate wrestling. He is associated with the Pit team and recently earned a Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Because of his relaxed “hands-down” stance and the various angles from which he throws punches, many within the MMA community have labelled Liddell’s style “unorthodox”. He was a four-year starter on the football team at San Marcos High School, and Liddell is noted within MMA circles for his exceptional takedown defense.
Liddell began his fighting career when he defeated Noe Hernandez on May 15, 1998. By 2002, Liddell was considered the number one contender for the UFC light heavyweight title with growing popularity and support from fans. The UFC tried to arrange a title bout with then champion Tito Ortiz but Ortiz kept citing scheduling conflicts which frustrated the UFC brass. To force Ortiz’s hand, they created an Interim Light Heavyweight Championship and matched Liddell with experienced former heavyweight Randy Couture at UFC 43 for that title. This was a fight that many thought Chuck should win, and it was expected that he would then go on to fight Orti. However, Couture neutralized Chuck’s trademark powerful looping hooks with crisp straight punches and he eventually began taking Chuck down at will. Couture eventually gained full mount and forced a referee stoppage due to strikes.
After this defeat, Liddell went to Japan to compete in the PRIDE 2003 Middleweight Grand Prix tournament as the UFC’s representative. After defeating Alistair Overeem in the first round of the tournament, Liddell was eliminated from the Grand Prix by Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in the semi-finals in a one sided affair, losing by technical knockout after Liddell’s corner signaled for an end to the bout.
Liddell lost his UFC light heavyweight title at UFC 71 on May 26, 2007 in a rematch against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson due to KO after being dropped by a single right hand. After the loss Liddell was widely criticized after reports indicated he was seen in night clubs the week before the event. He responded that it was nothing he had not done prior to his other fights in Las Vegas.
Chuck returns to the ring at UFC 76, where he faces Keith Jardine (UFC 76 preview).