Chuck “The ICEMAN” Liddell
Born Charles David Liddell
December 17, 1969 (age 42)
Santa Barbara, California, United States
Other names The Iceman
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight 205 lb (93 kg; 14 st 9 lb)
Division Light Heavyweight (205 lb)
Reach 76.5 in (194 cm)
Style Kenpō Karate, Koei-Kan Karate, Kickboxing, Wrestling
Fighting out of San Luis Obispo, California, United States
Team The Pit
Trainer John Hackleman
Rank Purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
5th Degree black belt in Kenpo Karate
Black belt in Koei-Kan Karate
Wrestling NCAA Division I Wrestling
Years active 1998–2010
By knockout 16
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout 13
By submission 1
By decision 7
By knockout 6
By submission 1
By decision 1
University California Polytechnic State University
Notable relatives; Sean & Dan Liddell (brothers) and (sister) Laura Liddell
Charles David “Chuck” Liddell (born December 17, 1969) is a retired American mixed martial artist and former Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight champion. Liddell has an extensive striking background in Kempo, Koei-Kan karate and kickboxing, as well as a grappling background in collegiate wrestling. During his heyday, Liddell was known for his knockout power, iron chin, excellent counter striking and for his sprawl-and-brawl technique, which made him one of the most difficult fighters to takedown. He is one of the most dominant champions that ever competed in the UFC. He is tied with Anderson Silva for most knockouts in UFC history. As of his retirement, Liddell has had 23 fights in the UFC. Along with fellow UFC Hall of Fame fighter Randy Couture, Liddell is widely credited for bringing mixed martial arts into the mainstream of American sports and entertainment. On July 10, 2009, he was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.
Liddell began studying Koei-Kan karate at the age of 12; the tattoo seen on his scalp reads “Koei-Kan”. Liddell was a four-year starter on the football team at San Marcos High School. While growing up in Santa Barbara, he often frequented the infamous Del Playa Drive, the middle of the party scene of the college town of Isla Vista, where he often found himself in fights with drunk college students. He also claims to be 3rd generation Irish in his autobiography He became a Division I wrestler at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business/Accounting in 1995. He holds an amateur kickboxing record of 20 wins and 2 losses, with 16 of his wins coming by way of knockout.
When Liddell started his MMA career, he began to train in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under John Lewis in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Rise To Fame
Liddell made his UFC debut in 1998 during UFC 17 in Mobile, Alabama, with a decision victory over Noe Hernandez. Despite a Technical submission loss to top contender Jeremy Horn shortly after, Liddell began establishing his reputation as a top contender with dominant victories over Kevin Randleman, Murilo Bustamante, Vitor Belfort, Amar Suloev, Jeff Monson, Renato Sobral and Tito Ortiz. Liddell was also the first UFC fighter currently on the roster to go fight in Pride where he represented the organization against fellow kickboxer Guy Mezger, knocking him out cold in one of the most exciting fights in the earlier days of MMA.
Pride Grand Prix Tournament against Overeem/Jackson
After his defeat to Couture, Liddell entered the Pride 2003 Middleweight Grand Prix tournament as the official UFC representative. After defeating Muay-Thai specialist Alistair Overeem in the first round of the tournament In an action packed bout Liddell was getting out landed by the taller, quicker and more technical striking of Overeem but later in the round Liddell landed an overhand punch to the head of Overeem staggering him into the ropes, Liddell rushed in with knees and straight rights and knocked him out at the latter stages of the first round. In the next round Liddell was eliminated by Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, The first round Liddell was landing shots as he found his distance but Jackson countered with powerful strikes rocking Liddell numerous times. In the second round, Jackson continued to out land Liddell with big punches but couldn’t finish him. Later in the second round a visibly exhausted Liddell was taken down and while taking a barrage of punches from the ground his corner threw in the towel, giving Jackson the upset victory.
Liddell vs. Ortiz
Returning to the UFC, Liddell was once again put in contention for the light heavyweight title, preparing for a match with former champion Ortiz. The pair had once trained together at the Pit fight Club and experienced a falling out that escalated as Ortiz taunted Liddell. The falling out stemmed from Ortiz’s unwillingness to give Liddell a title fight, despite Liddell’s status as the top contender in the UFC. Eventually, after Ortiz lost the title to Randy Couture, the two would meet in a highly anticipated bout at UFC 47 on April 2, 2004, in Las Vegas, Nevada. After most of the first round was spent feeling each other out, Liddell threw a few punches and a kick which was blocked by Ortiz, with Ortiz slapping himself on the head, taunting Liddell. When the round ended Ortiz pushed referee “Big” John McCarthy out of his way, into Liddell, and the pair exchanged words. Shortly after the second round started, Liddell landed a flurry of punches that dropped Ortiz and led to a TKO victory. Ortiz has since stated that Liddell’s thumb made contact with his eye, causing him to momentarily see “nothing but black”. Since UFC 47, the bad blood between both fighters remained, with Ortiz repeatedly stating that he wanted “his” title belt back. Despite the tension, Ortiz and Liddell would not fight again for two and a half years.
Becoming a Legend
The Ultimate Fighter
In early 2005, Liddell was a coach on the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter, Spike TV’s reality show which featured fighters competing for a UFC contract. Liddell was the coach of Team Liddell, while then-UFC-light-heavyweight champion Randy Couture coached Team Couture. The series was a success for both Spike TV and the UFC. Both of the winners of the show, Diego Sanchez and Forrest Griffin, were members of Team Liddell and have had very successful careers in the UFC since.
Liddell vs. Couture II
On April 16, 2005, at UFC 52, Liddell fought Randy Couture, again for the light heavyweight title. Couture moved in for a punch, Liddell countered with a big right hand to the temple of Couture, knocking him out cold, making him the new UFC light heavyweight champion.
Liddell vs. Horn II
Liddell was scheduled to defend his new title against UFC veteran Jeremy Horn, at UFC 54, a matchup the UFC claimed was demanded by long-time fans of the sport since Horn had given Liddell his first loss. Throughout the bout, Liddell dominated with aggressive punches, causing knockdowns in several rounds. Liddell’s defensive wrestling ability, especially his sprawl, stifled the bulk of Horn’s offense, which was centered on grappling and submission wrestling. Liddell eventually won the fight via TKO in 2:46 minutes of the fourth round after Horn informed the referee that he could not see. He had been hit with a right punch to the eye causing him to bleed from his eye as well as his nose. Liddell had successfully defended his title and, in the process, avenged two of his three career losses.
Liddell vs. Couture III
On February 4, 2006, at UFC 57, Liddell faced Randy Couture in a rubber match, After an action packed first round, Liddell landed a big punch to Couture’s face causing him to bleed, Couture bounced back with a take down of Liddell, but he was able to get up right away. Later in the second round as Couture moved in Liddell countered similar to in the second fight at UFC 52 knocking Couture out. defeating Couture for the 2nd time via knockout in Las Vegas, Nevada to retain the light heavyweight championship belt. After the fight, Couture announced his retirement from mixed martial arts.
Liddell vs. Sobral II
In Liddell’s next defense, at UFC 62 on August 26, 2006, Liddell would best Renato “Babalu” Sobral, who he had defeated nearly three years prior. Seconds after the fight started Sobral came running forward throwing punches, Liddell was moving backwards landing big punches, a right upper cut was the final hit in the onslaught ending the fight at 1:35 of the first round. It was announced during UFC 61 that, if he were to defeat Sobral, Liddell would face off against Pride Middleweight (205 lb) champion Wanderlei Silva. The fight failed to materialize due to the competing promotions’ inability to reach an agreement. UFC president Dana White attributed this to Silva’s subsequent knockout loss to Mirko Filipović.
Liddell vs. Ortiz II
In what would be the most financially successful UFC event to date, Liddell fought a rematch with Ortiz at UFC 66, which took place on December 30, 2006. Liddell’s takedown defense neutralized Ortiz’s wrestling ability forcing Ortiz to stand up with a known striker. Although Ortiz did take Liddell down at one point in the fight, Liddell went on to defeat Ortiz via TKO in the third round to successfully defend his light heavyweight championship for a fourth time. It was later revealed that Liddell tore his MCL prior to the fight. In addition, during the fight he popped the tendon out on the middle finger on his left hand.
Liddell vs. Silva
On October 23, 2007, White announced that a matchup between Liddell and Silva would finally take place at UFC 79. The fight was all that it was billed up to be over the years, It was a back-and-forth battle between two of the best light heavy weights of all time. Liddell defeated Silva via unanimous decision, out-landing Silva with harder, more efficient punches and getting two takedowns later in the fight. Many fans and MMA critics called it the best fight of the year. Both fighters were awarded “Fight of the Night” honors. This fight was voted 2007′s Fight of the Year at the first annual World Mixed Martial Arts Awards.
Chuck stated that he had made the decision to retire after losing three consecutive fights by knockout, despite his belief that he could continue to fight. With the opinions and considerations of his family and friends in mind, he decided to end his fighting career on December 29, 2010. At the UFC 125 press conference, Liddell announced his retirement and stated he would be taking the position of Vice President of Business Development within the UFC. Liddell was visibly emotional at the announcement, acknowledging his retirement and an end to his fighting with words of farewell: “Most of all I want to thank my fans and my family. I love this sport and I’m excited to go to this new stage in my life and keep promoting the best sport in the world, the sport I love… now that I’m retired.”
Liddell is associated with John Hackleman and The Pit fight team and earned a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Liddell has a brother, Sean, who also competes in MMA, fighting last in the WEC. He also has a brother named Dan and a sister named Laura.
Liddell continues to train in San Luis Obispo, California, where he attended college. He has two children, a daughter named Trista, with female MMA fighter Casey Noland and son named Cade.
He is a former part owner of two bars in Lincoln, Nebraska, Dillinger’s and NZone. He also owns a store called “Ultimate Iceman”, a memorabilia store in San Luis Obispo.
Liddell proposed to his girlfriend Heidi Northcott on November 4, 2010. The couple are expecting their first child together, a daughter, in 2011.
On May 9, 2007, Liddell became the first UFC fighter to be on the cover of ESPN The Magazine. Liddell also released his autobiography, Iceman: My Fighting Life, on January 29, 2008.
Liddell has also made several film and television appearances. He appeared as himself in the movie Bachelor Party Vegas, He appeared as “Graft” in the pilot episode of the TV series Blade: The Series, had a guest cameo in the first season of Inked on A&E, and made a brief appearance in the 1981 film The Postman Always Rings Twice with Jack Nicholson. The character of ‘Mad Dog’ Grimes in the 2011 film Warrior is sometimes mistaken to have been played by Chuck Liddell due to the similar mohawk style haircut, but is in fact played by Erik Apple.
Title / Character / Year
Hawaii Five-0 / Himself / 2011
Blue Mountain State / Himself / 2011
Passion Play (film)
Thug of Happy Shannon the Gangster 2010
The Ballad of G.I. Joe
Gung-Ho / 2009
Drillbit Taylor / Himself / 2008
MTV Series – Punk’d / Himself / 2007
HBO Series – Entourage / Himself / 2007
The Death and Life of Bobby Z Mad Dog / 2007
Blade: The Series Graft / 2007
Bachelor Party Vegas
The Iceman 2006
Cradle 2 the Grave
Ultimate Fighter 2003
Tough Guy 2001 Award
He was named the “Most Dangerous Man” at the Spike TV Guys’ Choice Awards on June 13, 2007.
Liddell has served briefly as a spokesperson on behalf of Monitronics, a security system company.
He is currently sponsored by Iceman Fight Gear- a brand designed with his input.
Championships and awards
Mixed martial arts
• Ultimate Fighting Championship
o UFC Hall of Fame
o UFC Light Heavyweight Championship (One time)
o Four successful title defenses
o Fight of the Night (One Time)
o Most Knockouts in the Light Heavyweight division (10)
o Tied (Anderson Silva) for most Knockouts in UFC history (10)
o Two separate seven-fight win streaks in the UFC
o Most wins in the Light Heavyweight division (16)
o Tied (Randy Couture;Georges St-Pierre) for second most wins in UFC history
• Pride Fighting Championships
o Pride 2003 Middleweight Grand Prix Semifinalist
o 2006 Fighter of the Year
• Black Belt Magazine
o 2001 NHB Co-Competitor of the Year along with Tito Ortiz
• World MMA Awards
o 2007 Fight of the Year vs. Wanderlei Silva on December 29, 2007
• Spike TV Guys’ Choice Awards
o 2007 Most Dangerous Man.
• International Kickboxing Federation
o IKF Amateur International Rules U.S. Super Heavyweight Championship (One time)
o Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell had an Amateur Kickboxing record of 20-2 with 16 wins coming by KO/TKO. Liddell won the International Kickboxing Federation IKF Amateur International Rules United States Super Heavyweight Title on October 17, 1996 in Bakersfield, California, USA when he defeated Scott Harmon by unanimous decision (49-45, 48-46 & 49-46).
o Liddell lost the title in a rematch to Scott Harmon on January, 25th, 1997 in Bakersfield, CA, USA at the end of the second round when Harmon split open Liddell’s chin with a hatchet kick. Liddell’s trainer decided to stop the bout when he discovered in addition that Liddell also injured his shin badly.
• World Kickboxing and Karate Association
o WKA Amateur International Rules U.S. Heavyweight Championship (One time)
• United States Muay Thai Association
o USMTA Amateur Muay Thai North American Heavyweight Championship (One time)
Mixed martial arts record
Professional record breakdown
Result Record / Opponent / Method / Event / Date / Round / Time / Location Notes
Loss 21–8 Rich Franklin KO (punch) UFC 115 June 12, 2010 1 4:55 British Columbia, Canada Retired after fight.
Loss 21–7 Maurício Rua TKO (punches) UFC 97 April 18, 2009 1 4:28 Quebec, Canada
Loss 21–6 Rashad Evans KO (punch) UFC 88 September 6, 2008 2 1:51 Georgia, United States
Win 21–5 Wanderlei Silva Decision (unanimous) UFC 79 December 29, 2007 3 5:00 Nevada, United States Fight of the Night. Fight of the Year (2007).
Loss 20–5 Keith Jardine Decision (split) UFC 76 September 22, 2007 3 5:00 California, United States
Loss 20–4 Quinton Jackson TKO (punches) UFC 71 May 26, 2007 1 1:53 Nevada, United States Lost the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 20–3 Tito Ortiz TKO (punches) UFC 66 December 30, 2006 3 3:59 Nevada, United States Defended the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 19–3 Renato Sobral TKO (punches) UFC 62 August 26, 2006 1 1:35 Nevada, United States Defended the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 18–3 Randy Couture KO (punches) UFC 57 February 4, 2006 2 1:28 Nevada, United States Defended the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 17–3 Jeremy Horn TKO (punches) UFC 54 August 20, 2005 4 2:46 Nevada, United States Defended the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 16–3 Randy Couture KO (punches) UFC 52 April 16, 2005 1 2:06 Nevada, United States Won the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 15–3 Vernon White KO (punch) UFC 49 August 21, 2004 1 4:05 Nevada, United States
Win 14–3 Tito Ortiz KO (punches) UFC 47 April 2, 2004 2 0:38 Nevada, United States
Loss 13–3 Quinton Jackson TKO (corner stoppage) PRIDE GP 2003 November 9, 2003 2 3:10 Tokyo, Japan 2003 Pride Middleweight Grand Prix Semifinal.
Win 13–2 Alistair Overeem KO (punches) PRIDE GP 2003 August 10, 2003 1 3:09 Saitama, Japan 2003 Pride Middleweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal.
Loss 12–2 Randy Couture TKO (punches) UFC 43 June 6, 2003 3 2:39 Nevada, United States For the Interim UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 12–1 Renato Sobral TKO (head kick and punches) UFC 40 November 22, 2002 1 2:55 Nevada, United States
Win 11–1 Vitor Belfort Decision (unanimous) UFC 37.5 June 22, 2002 3 5:00 Nevada, United States
Win 10–1 Amar Suloev Decision (unanimous) UFC 35 January 11, 2002 3 5:00 Connecticut, United States
Win 9–1 Murilo Bustamante Decision (unanimous) UFC 33 September 28, 2001 3 5:00 Nevada, United States
Win 8–1 Guy Mezger KO (punch) PRIDE 14 May 27, 2001 2 0:21 Kanagawa, Japan Pride Debut.
Win 7–1 Kevin Randleman KO (punches) UFC 31 May 4, 2001 1 1:18 New Jersey, United States
Win 6–1 Jeff Monson Decision (unanimous) UFC 29 December 6, 2000 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 5–1 Steve Heath KO (head kick) IFCWC 9 July 18, 2000 2 5:39 California, United States
Win 4–1 Paul Jones TKO (cut) UFC 22 September 24, 1999 1 3:53 Louisiana, United States
Win 3–1 Kenneth Williams Submission (rear-naked choke) NG 11 March 31, 1999 1 3:35 California, United States
Loss 2–1 Jeremy Horn Technical Submission (arm-triangle choke) UFC 19 March 5, 1999 1 12:00 Mississippi, United States
Win 2–0 José Landi-Jons Decision (unanimous) IVTC 6 August 23, 1998 1 30:00 Sao Paulo, Brazil
Win 1–0 Noe Hernandez Decision (unanimous) UFC 17 May 15, 1998 1 12:00 Alabama, United States UFC Debut.
• (2008) Iceman: My Fighting Life.