As a former Ultimate Fighting Championship title holder and mixed martial arts master, Chuck Liddell was often credited with helping to transform his obscure, violent sport into mainstream entertainment. Born on Dec. 17, 1969 in Santa Barbara, CA, Liddell began training in Koei-Kan karate when he was 12 years old. He was a four-year starter for the Knights at San Marcos High School, and became a Division I wrestler at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. After graduating Cal Poly with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business, he embarked upon his mixed martial arts career, earning a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu while training under John Lewis in Las Vegas. Liddell entered the UFC in 1998 with decisive victories over skilled opponents. As he rose up the ranks, he earned a reputation as a devastating striker who possessed excellent defensive skills, knockout ability and an unorthodox fighting style. In short order, he earned the nickname The Iceman while pounding his way to a light heavyweight championship in 2005.