The Fall of Chuck Liddell: The Iceman Has Melted

Mike LevyContributor IJanuary 13, 2009

Turn the clock back a little more than a year ago and Chuck Liddell was the UFC light-heavyweight champion, fresh off a knockout of Tito Ortiz, and the poster boy of the UFC.

Fast forward to now and Liddell has been knocked out both physically and metaphorically. One knockout was the result of now light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans' right hand and the other was by George St. Pierre and Anderson Silva as the faces of UFC. 

With wins over UFC legends like Randy Couture (two victories), Tito Ortiz (two victories), Renato Sobral (two victories), Vitor Belfort, Wanderlei Silva, and Jeremy Horn, Liddell is a sure hall of famer. Yet some believe that after losing three of his last four fights, two of these by knockout, some think that "the Iceman" might need to hang up his gloves.

It was his unusual kickboxing style that has been his Achilles heel to an extent. This trademark style led to unbelievable knockouts in his early career and a year-long reign as light heavyweight champion.

During this title reign he would successfully defend his title in a revenge bout against Jeremy Horn, a rematch with Randy Couture, one with top contender Renato Sobral, and a grudge match with Tito Ortiz. But soon after his win against Tito Ortiz, the UFC gave Liddell a chance to avenge his only other loss against former Pride champion Quinton Jackson.

At only 1:53 into the first round, Jackson would trigger the slide Liddell is currently on by knocking him out. A split-decision loss against Keith Jardine would follow four months later. Despite the much hyped unanimous decision over Wanderlei Silva, this short wave of momentum would be stopped by Rashad Evans. 

Liddell is preparing for a fight early this year, yet little is known about Liddell's future. It's possible that Liddell could return to form as the dominant light heavyweight people knew and loved. Yet at 39, only Randy Couture has achieved success at such an old age in UFC. Maybe it's time for "the iceman" to hang up his gloves before he bites off more than he can chew, like Anderson Silva for example.