The “Iceman” may have retired from professional mixed martial arts, but Chuck Liddell is still a significant figure in the world of MMA. His success in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) ring made him very wealthy after earning approximately $14 million. Here is how the retired mixed martial artist amassed his riches.
Chuck Liddell: Early Life
Born Charles David Liddell on December 17, 1969, in Santa Barbara, California, he grew up under the care of his single mother and his maternal grandfather, who taught him and his siblings some boxing techniques. When he reached the age of 12, he started taking up Koei Kan karate classes.
Liddell was also a part of the football team while studying at San Marcos High School, where he played linebacker and center. He also dabbled in wrestling during that time. When he started studying at the California Polytechnic State University, he joined the wrestling team as a Division 1 wrestler. He earned a Business and Accounting degree in 1995.
Before debuting in UFC in 1998, Liddell had a fruitful career as an amateur kickboxer. He has a solid 20-2 win-loss record with 16 knockouts. He also started training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu at the start of his MMA career.
Chuck Liddell: Life As A MMA Fighter
Liddell was introduced in the UFC 17 ring during a victorious match against Noe Hernandez in Mobile, Alabama. He was pitted against vale todo warrior Jose “Pele” Landi-Johns in Sao Paolo, Brazil, for his next fight. Despite Pele’s home advantage, Liddell still managed to win the match via decision. He encountered his first loss during his third fight but managed to regain his winning streak after winning against some of the biggest names in the sport, including one of his greatest nemeses Tito Ortiz.
The Iceman became the top contender for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship in 2002. The league wanted to match him with Ortiz, but his camp declined due to conflicts in schedule. UFC resorted to organizing an improvised light heavyweight championship match against a wrestler and previous heavyweight champ Randy “The Natural” Couture during the UFC 43 event. However, he lost the fight after Couture released a series of punches.
In 2004, Liddell finally had the opportunity to go against Tito Ortiz for the light heavyweight bout. The A-list UFC fighters bickered against each other during the match. In the end, Liddell gained victory through technical knockout. It started the never-ending competition against the best UFC fighters at the time. He also redeemed himself from Couture after defeating the latter at the UFC 52 light heavyweight championship match in 2005.
He defended his UFC Light Heavyweight Champion several times. The first was against veteran Jeremy Horn, then faced Couture for the third time for a rematch. When Liddell successfully retained the championship, Couture announced that it was time for him to retire from MMA.
Liddell also faced Ortiz again in one of the best selling UFC events in history. The pay-per-view rematch between the MMA superstars that happened in 2006’s UFC 66 was almost sold-out. While Ortiz managed to take down Liddell early in the match, the champion defeated him via TKO in the third round.
Chuck Liddell: MMA Retirement
Liddell lost his title to Quentin “Rampage” Jackson in 2007, and then suffered another loss to Keith Jardine during the same year. He regained his honor after winning the highly anticipated match against Wanderlei Silva at UFC 79, but it was his last professional win as an MMA fighter.
Talks about his retirement began after his induction to the UFC Hall of Fame in July 2009 but clarified that he was still undecided at the time. After a series of knockout losses, he declared that he would end his fighting career during the UFC 125 media conference. He also said that he was assigned to become the Vice President of Business Development of the league.
Liddell had a momentary return to fighting through a third match against Ortiz in November 2018 but lost via knockout in the first round. He declared in an interview with TMZ in March 2020 that he officially retired from MMA for the second time.
Chuck Liddell: Acting And Other Ventures
Aside from earning money as an MMA pro, Liddell also had a stint in Hollywood. He portrayed several roles in a variety of films like “Cradle 2 the Grave,” “The Death and Life of Bobby Z,” “The Ballad of G.I. Joe,” and “War Pigs.” He also appeared as himself in the films “Kick-Ass 2” and “Fight Life,” as well as several TV shows like “Entourage,” “Dancing with the Stars,” “Hawaii Five-0,” and “Celebrity Big Brother.” His last acting job was for the movie “Cagefighter: World Collide.”
Liddell also owned a memorabilia store called The Ultimate Iceman in 2010, then turned it to become an online store in 2011. He also released an autobiography titled “Iceman: My Fighting Life” in 2008. All these contributed to his current $14 million net worth.