Saturday, May 16, 2009

Goodbye, Iceman

After a decade of fighting inside the octagon and creating a foundation that made UFC into the mainstream of American sports. Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell is finally saying goodbye to the octagon. With a dissapointing TKO lost in the very first round from Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 97: Redemption, it made easy for UFC President Dana White to declare that The Iceman has had enough. Mixed martial arts fans all over the world, including me, will really miss the Iceman making his signature victory pose inside the octagon.

The Iceman had his baptism of blood in 1998 with a decision victory over Noe Hernandez at UFC 17: Redemption, noticed the coincidence? His first fight was in UFC 17: Redemption and his last was in UFC 97: Redemption (again). His first lost
was with Jeremy Horn at UFC 19: Ultimate Young Guns due to Arm Triangle Choke and had his revenge at UFC 54: Boiling Point due to a barrage of punches. Liddell has been known with his ferocious strikes and excellent takedown offense, although he has a collegiate wrestling background, almost all his fight he can be seen standing because of his kickboxing discipline. Personally, I've watched his takedowns only twice-his fight with Wanderlei Silva and Shogun Rua. With this style, he had proven that UFC is not all about Brazilian Jiu-jitsu just like what Royce Gracie had done and made him the first UFC Champion, a pure striker has also a place inside the octagon and can also do submissions. In fact, in his 21 fights one of them is a submission, a rear naked choke over Kenneth Williams.

The Iceman has created two of the greatest rivals in UFC; the first was with his former sparring partner Tito "The Huntington Beach Bad boy" Ortiz who had no victory over him and with Randy "The Natural" Couture that won only once in their trilogy making him the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. He really deserves a spot on the hall of fame because of his greatest fights. Everytime he steps inside the ring, expect that it will not be a boring fight, everytime he fights he give his all and although he lost 7 times, he is very much respected and of course he deserves it.

Chuck Liddell might has retired but the memories of the fights he fought with his ferocious strikes, deadly kicks and brutal ground and fight, will never be forgotten. The Iceman will never melt in our hearts. Thank you for all those years inside the octagon, Chuck.

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