Chuck Liddell is known as one of the most devastating knockout artists in UFC history. His streak of eight consecutive UFC wins by way of knockout may never be matched in the light heavyweight division.
Some feel Liddell, however, had a premature end to his reign as a UFC champion.
UFC President Dana White reflected on Liddell’s dominant run during Joe Rogan’s podcast this week. “[Liddell] was a f—–g war horse who would just move forward,” White said. “He would eat shots to give them, you know. He would eat three to give you that one, you know, then f—–g boom!”
According to White, Liddell began letting his nightlife interfere with his fighting, which likely cost him against Randy Couture at UFC 43. “The night before he fought Couture, it’s like 2:30 a.m. at the Hard Rock, and I’m walking through the Hard Rock and he is f—–g there. I go, ‘what the f–k are you doing,’” White said. “It was just such a given to him that he would win this fight.”
That loss to Couture was Liddell’s only UFC defeat in an eight-year span with the MMA promotion.
White pointed to Liddell’s second win over Tito Ortiz as the high-water mark of the “Iceman’s” career. “When Chuck beat Tito that night, it was crazy, man,” White said. “This dude became so huge. After his fights, everyone wanted a piece of that guy.”
The sudden fame and rock star lifestyle eventually caught up to Liddell, as he lost five of his next six fights. Liddell never came back and announced his retirement Dec. 29, 2010.
White believes Liddell’s amazing run ended too quickly. “Partying kills fighters. I saw it happen with Chuck,” White stated. “It makes me wonder if he hadn’t partied how much longer he could have stayed.”