|The main event: Champion, Chuck Liddell and challenger, Quinton Jackson face off at the UFC 71 Press Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 24, 2007. (Mike Mastrandrea/SLAM! Sports)
There is no shortage of impressive feats on Chuck ‘The Iceman’ Liddell’s
The most recognizable face in the Ultimate Fighting Championship has
reached a celebrity status unparalleled in the mixed-martial-arts world.
He’s on the cover of this week’s ESPN The Magazine, he’s had cameos on
TV shows like Entourage and Blade and has made more public appearances
than Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan combined.
All that and he tends turn the lights out on his opponents with
laser-guided kicks and punches.
So what impresses challenger Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson most about the
“His Mohawk,” says Jackson, 28, who looks like a mix between rapper 50
Cent and wrestling’s Junkyard Dog.
“I’m impressed how he keeps that Mohawk looking that way every time I
see him. I wonder, does he cut it himself does he have a private barber,
does he have a stencil thing that he puts on his head to keep from
messing it up.”
The second-funniest man in the UFC (top honours go to aw-shucks Georgia
boy Forrest Griffin) holds the enviable distinction of being the only
unavenged loss on Liddell’s 20-and-three record.
But he promises that when he enters the cage tonight (Saturday), there
will be nothing to joke about.
“I’m gonna whup Chuck’s ass,” said Jackson who holds an MMA record of
If recent history is any indicator, the odds may be on Jackson’s side.
Upsets have ruled the UFC’s last three cards with Randy Couture taking
the belt from heavyweight champ Tim Sylvia, Georges St. Pierre losing
the welterweight crown to underdog Matt Serra and virtual unknown
Gabriel Gonzaga surprising mega star Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic with a
Since being defeated by Jackson at a 2003 Pride Fighting Championship
card in Tokyo, Liddell has gone undefeated.
And he assures that if there is a recent trend toward upsets in the
sport, it won’t apply to him.
“My strategy doesn’t change much from fight to fight, ” says Liddell,
37, whose light-heavyweight belt will be on the line tonight (Saturday)
when the two square off at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in UFC 71.
“(Jackson’s) got a hard head and it’s going to take a little hitting to
get him out, but he’s going to go down,” he told a Vegas press conference.
Liddell, who spent eight days in bed due to pneumonia in March, assures
he’s healthy and ready to put an asterisk beside the only blemish on his
He’s a two-to-one favourite going into the fight, but perhaps the only
safe bet in this scrap is that it’s not likely to go the distance.
Someone’s going to get knocked out!
B.C.’s Kalib Starnes will be on the UFC 71 fight card taking on Chris
Leben. Leben, on the comeback trail after losing to Canadian Jason
MacDonald and middleweight champ Anderson Silva is predicting a knockout.
Heavyweight champ Randy Couture is making a bold prediction for the
Liddell/Jackson fight: He says Jackson will emerge victorious.
UFC 75 is set for Sept. 8 in London, England with Michael 'The Count'
Bisping as one of the event headliners. The event will reportedly take
place at the 23,000 seat O2 arena in London..
Rumblings have surfaced that Mirko Cro Cop will retire following the
final four fights on his UFC contract. Cro has said he wants to return
to his old job with the Croatian special police force. Cro Cop is
scheduled to fight at UFC 75 in London.
For Dana White and crew, it’s another testament of his sports growing
success: Ultimate fighting is on the cover of this week’s Sports
For the latest news in the mixed-martial arts world, check out The
Scrapyard blog on canoe.ca