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When Beyond the Cage sat down with Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell in his California home during his review, approval and signing of the artwork, we saw a side of him few get to see – a fun-loving relaxed gentleman. The artwork featuring Liddell offered by Beyond the Cage shows both this man and the warrior we have all come to love.
Liddell made his UFC debut in 1998 during UFC 17 in Mobile, Alabama, with a decision victory over Noe Hernandez. As of his retirement in 2010, Liddell has had 23 fights in the UFC. During the course of his career he has defeated some of the all time greats of MMA including Wanderlei Silva, Randy Couture (twice), Tito Ortiz (twice) and a host of other notable fighters.
Liddell began studying Koei-Kan karate at the age of 12; the tattoo seen on his scalp reads "Koei-Kan," which means "Prosper with Happiness." He also has an extensive striking background in Kempo and kickboxing, as well as a grappling background in collegiate wrestling. When Liddell started his MMA career, he began to train in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Along with fellow UFC Hall of Fame fighter Randy Couture, former UFC light heavyweight champion Liddell is widely credited for bringing MMA into the mainstream of American sports and entertainment. He has become a true ambassador of the sport.
In early 2005, Liddell was a coach on the first season of Spike TV's The Ultimate Fighter. In 2007, Liddell became the first UFC fighter to be on the cover of ESPN The Magazine. He released his autobiography, Iceman: My Fighting Life, in 2008. In 2009 he competed on season nine of Dancing with the Stars. On July 10, 2009, at the UFC 100 Fan Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada, Liddell was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.
Liddell's many championships and awards include winning the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship, four successful title defenses, Fight of the Night (twice), Knockout of the Night, PRIDE 2003 Middleweight Grand Prix Semifinalist, IFC Light Heavyweight Championship, Sherdog 2006 Fighter of the Year, being named Black Belt Magazine's 2001 NHB Co-Competitor of the Year, World MMA Awards Fight of the Year in 2008, Spike TV Guys' Choice Awards 2007 Most Dangerous Man, as well as numerous kickboxing and karate championships.
Upon his retirement, Liddell gave these 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."