Have you seen some of the guys he’s beaten up?
Have you seen him?
But people didn’t always know about Liddell’s reputation. Before he was an ultimate fighting champ, rising through the ranks of the UFC, Liddell was in a hotel with UFC co-owner Dana White when White got in a conversation with a hotel security guard, who wanted to know what was up with the guy with the Mohawk. When White told the security guard Liddell was an ultimate fighter, the security guard suggested ultimate fighting was “crap,” according to Liddell’s new autobiography.
White then offered the guy $5,000 if he could last five minutes with Liddell.
So at 3 a.m., with other hotel employees looking on, Liddell threw down with the security guard in a hotel lobby.
“I took him down, and he wanted a second try,” Liddell said during an interview with The Tribune.
The second time didn’t prove any more successful for the security guard.
“He was walking like C-3PO the next day because I put him in a neck crank,” Liddell said.
The story, recounted by Liddell during an interview at SLO Kickboxing, is one of several mentioned in his new book, “Iceman, My Fighting Life.”
Liddell, of San Luis Obispo, is the UFC’s former light heavyweight champ, who scored a dramatic comeback victory last month over Wanderlei Silva.
Here are some more tidbits from Liddell’s book and our interview:
* While he has often entered the octagon to songs by Eminem and DMX, he’s a fan of metal and country music. During our interview, his cell phone rang several times. The ringtone: “Family Tradition” by Hank Williams, Jr.
* Liddell once dated Playboy model Willa Ford. And while he was linked to actress Juliette Lewis, he said they never dated. He now has a steady girlfriend, who knows about his bachelor past, which included nights with multiple women.
“I’ve never hidden the way I was,” he said. “I was really honest with everything I’ve done.”
* While it takes longer to prepare and recover from fights, Liddell, 38, thinks he can fight at least another couple of years.
“I should still beat anybody in my weight class,” he said. “So I’ll keep doing it for a while. When I’m 40, I think I’ll try to move on and do some other things.”
* There’s no love lost between him and Tito Ortiz. Ortiz, now one of the stars on “Celebrity Apprentice,” used to spar with Liddell. Eventually, Liddell beat Ortiz, the former champ, twice.
“If you listen to him he took me off the street, taught me how to fight, and I turned on him,” Liddell said. “When in reality, he came to me to help him get ready for a fight.”
Would he fight Ortiz a third time? “It’s an easy fight for me if people want to pay to see it,” he said. “And plus I would enjoy it just because he’s got a big mouth.”
Wait to see what Ortiz says about Liddell in his upcoming book, “This is Gonna Hurt.”
* Sen. John McCain once called ultimate fighting “human cockfighting,” and led a campaign to ban the sport. Eventually, the UFC regulated itself, implemented rules and banning certain moves, like eye-gouging and groin kicks. As the sport became accepted, its popularity surged, just in time for Liddell to win the championship.
“It was good timing for me as far as when the sport caught on,” he said.
* According to the book, Liddell landed a 6-figure deal with Xyience, which sells supplements and energy drinks.
* When he was 10, Liddell had a bit role in the Jack Nicholson movie “The Postman Always Rings Twice.” Liddell is now considering future acting roles, which leads to the obvious question:
Will Liddell become the next action star?
“Ideally, that’d be nice,” he said. “But we’ll see.”
– Pat P.
Photo: (copyright) UFC, provided by and licensed from Zuffa LLC
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