Everybody who wins a title now goes out and writes a book about their life. BJ Penn, Randy Couture, Forrest Griffin, Matt Hughes, and obviously, Chuck Liddell. I’m always curious to learn how guys like Chuck get to where they are, so obviously this one was on my reading list.
Everybody knows who the Iceman is. Even those who don’t follow MMA recognize the stare and the mohawk. It wasn’t long ago that he was still the UFC’s Light Heavyweight champ, is still considered by many to be the face of the UFC, and has recently retired from fighting and become the UFC’s VP of Business Development.
Overall, this was a fun read. If you go into it understanding that it’s from Chuck’s point of view, then it won’t leave you disappointed. It’s essentially a series of “There was this one time…” type of stories. Early in the book, he talks about the physical challenges he had as a youngster, playing high school football, wrestling, and obviously, fighting. He talks about his teenage years of karate, kickboxing, turning down his black belt, and…fighting.
What I found most interesting about the book was the inside view leading up to his early MMA fights. He has some great stories about flying down to Brazil for his second ever MMA fight against Pele (Jose Landi-Jons), his first UFC fight, the beginnings of his rivalry with Tito Ortiz, what went on during the very early days of the UFC, creating the first season of The Ultimate Fighter, and even brags a little (a lot) about the girls that make it into his hotel room after his fights (“not bragging or anything, but it’s good to be the winner”).
You might not ever get the chance to kick back and have a few beers with Chuck Liddell during your lifetime, but that’s about what reading this book feels like. If you are a fan of Chuck, the UFC, or even just MMA, this is a really fun book, and a quick read.