The 100 Greatest Athletes of the Complex Decade

34. Chuck Liddell

Sport: MMA
Bonafides From 2002-2012: Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, 11-7-0 (9 KOs)
He might not be the best mixed martial artist of all time (actually, he's definitely not), but Chuck Liddell is arguably the most popular fighter in MMA history, and has done as much as anyone to make the sport the juggernaut it is today. During the mid-'00s, Liddell fought a series of bouts (vs. Randy Couture, Tito Ortiz, Wanderlei Silva, and Rampage Jackson) that put the UFC on the map. Along the way he crafted a personality—partying before fights, fighting with torn knee ligaments—that established the no-holds-barred ethos of MMA. Still the record holder for most knockouts in UFC history, Liddell started getting knocked the fuck out himself toward the end of his career, but he's still the face of the sport for many fans.

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