I feel as though I discovered mixed martial arts (MMA) twice. The first time was in the mid-1990s when a friend had collected a number of the very first UFC pay-per-views on VHS tape.
Like so many kids of that era, I marvelled at the brutality, the blood, the apparent lack of rules, the toughness. It was wonderful. And then Royce Gracie disappeared and I lost interest.
I rediscovered MMA years later with the rise of Georges St-Pierre, who brought interest to Canadians striving to find something to watch other than ice hockey. But that’s not who I wanted to talk about.
Around the same time “Rush” was making a splash in UFC, Chuck Liddell was beginning his legendary run. Forgotten by some of the newer MMA fans, “The Iceman” had one of the most terrifying reigns in the history of combat sports and was once considered as unbeatable as any man or woman who has stepped inside a cage.
Liddell rattled off seven consecutive knockouts over all the top light heavyweights of his era in UFC (sandwiched between knockouts by “Rampage” Jackson). For a time it seemed impossible anybody would be able to solve Liddell’s combination of brutal knockout power on the feet with impenetrable takedown defense.
When Chucky finally ended his winning streak, finishing his career on a horrendous 1-5 record which required doctors to help him up off the canvas four of those times, it was like some of the magic the UFC held over me had dissipated.
It was the same with Anderson Silva, who for years seemed as though he toyed with fighters before finishing them violently, before running into a wrestler named Chael Sonnen, and finally the man who ended the streak in Chris Weidman.
Despite the fact Liddell and Silva had lost before going on their tremendous runs, we all ….View full article
Source:: mma mania