Chuck Liddell vs Randy Couture, UFC 43, UFC 52, UFC 57, Jun 2003, April 2005, Feb 2006
Recently, a wave of nostalgia has taken over and I have been going back to older UFC fights. After the 2005 Forrest Griffin vs Stephan Bonnar milestone, the UFC started to become more and more popular in the US. With that era of MMA, I immediately think back to the great light heavyweight fighters Tito Ortiz, Chuck Liddel, and Randy Couture.
The UFC Light Heavyweight division has always been one of the most competitive. The Light Heavyweight Championship has changed hands so many times and so rapidly, it’s hard to keep track.
But the guys that started it all. The guys that put the UFC and the light heavyweight division on the map. Their fights against each other were always the most anticipated fights of the year.
Today, lets take a look at the legacy that is Chuck Liddell vs Randy Couture.
Chuck Liddell vs Tito Ortiz, UFC 47 and UFC 66, April 2004 and December 2006
The UFC has built it self into the worlds top MMA promotion through a business model that depends on stars. These MMA stars were the toughest, baddest, craziest guys out there that had an inexplicable passion for the sport. These guys would give up their jobs, spend money and time training, then get into a cage to fight another tough, bad, crazy guy. All of this before fighter salary was decent and before the sport was popular.
Some of the UFC’s stars include Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz, and Randy Couture. Old school fighters, legends of the sport, Hall of Fame names. These are the guys that brought MMA to the American audience. These are the guys that provided the foundation for the UFC to build itself into the successful promotion it is today.
Chuck Liddell vs Tito Ortiz is a two fight series between two of the top UFC Light Heavyweight fighters of all time. Both are former champions and both are dedicated to winning.
Click and scroll for the full fight videos of both fights
Chuck Liddell vs Wanderlei Silva, UFC 79, 29 December 2007
Chuck Liddell vs Wanderlei Silva represents rich MMA history and has been in the making since before 2003. In 2003, UFC President Dana White had been trying to match Chuck Liddell vs Wanderlei Silva for ages in what he declared as the best of UFC versus the best of Pride. That year, Dana White and Chuck Liddell traveled to Japan to challenge the best of the best Pride fighters in the 2003 Pride Middleweight Grand Prix. In entering Chuck Liddell into the Middleweight Grand Prix, Chuck Liddell would earn the chance to fight Pride Middleweight Champion Wanderlei Silva. Additionally, Chuck would fight other Pride MMA superstars in the tournament. This would ultimately give Dana White and more importantly, the fight fans an incredible UFC vs Pride tournament. Unfortunately, we never got to see Chuck Liddell vs Wanderlei Silva in 2003 as Chuck Liddell did not make it past the semi-finals against Rampage Jackson.
UFC vs Pride 2003, Japan, August – November 2003
Full fight videos including commentary from Dana White as well as history of UFC vs Pride 2003. Chuck Liddell enters the Pride 2003 Middleweight Grand Prix against the top Pride fighters at the time.
By 2003, Pride had established itself as the premier MMA promotion in the world. Pride had most of the legendary fighters of today including the Nogueira brothers, Fabricio Werdum, Wanderlei Silva, Shogun Rua, Rampage Jackson, Alistair Overeem and many more. The UFC also had their own stable of legends including Randy Couture, Frank Mir, Matt Hughes, Sean Sherk, Frank Shamrock, Tito Ortiz, and Chuck Liddell. Both of these organizations had put on incredible events drawing crowds and building the sport of MMA.
Even though Pride was the leading MMA promotion at the time, the UFC and Pride were on an inevitable collision course. Having UFC fighters compete against Pride fighters would have been a fight fans ultimate fantasy come true. Not only would the fights be exciting, but this would also be a great marketing opportunity for the UFC. Pride fighters were considered the best in the world. With the UFC putting their fighters against the Pride fighters, win or lose it would be a great marketing campaign to promote the UFC and the quality of UFC fighters. Dana White had spent a good amount of time and effort campaigning for a UFC vs Pride show down. This would be a fight for the Pride Middleweight Championship between Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva.
Click and scroll to watch Chuck Liddell represent UFC in UFC vs Pride 2003