#1 Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell
Along with Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell is widely credited for bringing MMA into the mainstream of American sports and entertainment. His fan-friendly fighting style gave him a huge following in MMA.
His rivalries with Couture, Tito Ortiz and Wanderlei Silva were certified box-office hits. But since relinquishing the UFC light heavyweight title to Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in May 2007, Liddell became a shell of his old self.
In an attempt to revive his career, he faced former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin in a light heavyweight bout. It served as the final nail in the coffin.
Franklin connected with a counter right hook knocking Liddell out unconscious in the first round with five seconds remaining. Earlier in the fight, Franklin broke his arm blocking a body kick from Liddell.
Only a few hours after the match, UFC president Dana White declared that Liddell will not fight in the UFC ever again. With the opinions and considerations of his family and friends in mind after losing three consecutive fights by knockout, Liddell decided to end his fighting career in December 2010.