Those fortunate enough to be walking or riding down the 6500 block of Del Playa Drive early yesterday afternoon likely caught a glimpse of one of the greatest champions the Ultimate Fighting Championship has ever seen: Chuck “the Iceman” Liddell.
Liddell, a native of Santa Barbara, was in Isla Vista yesterday to film a promotional video for an upcoming UFC fight in June. Standing in front of a camera at the intersection of DP and El Embarcadero, Liddell told stories of his days street fighting college students in Isla Vista.
“When I was young, I would hang out on DP,” Liddell said. “Naturally, I got into a lot of street fights around here. With the combination of college kids and a bunch of alcohol, I found a lot of kids wanted to fight.”
Liddell said that he did not drink alcohol himself until he turned 21 and that he never initiated the fights. However, he also said that he never lost an I.V. street fight.
Numerous students spotted the UFC superstar and congratulated him on previous victories from within the Octagon. A few students crowded around the fighter, asking for autographs and photos with him, which he agreed to.
According to Liddell, the video he was filming is a pre-fight promotional video for his upcoming bout against Rashad “Sugar” Evans. The fight is scheduled for June 7 at the O2 Arena in London, England.
Liddell attended high school at nearby San Marcos High School and graduated from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, with a degree in business. As such, Liddell said he spent considerable time in I.V. during his high school and college years.
Since then, Liddell has gone on to gain notoriety as a master of mixed martial arts. He is the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and has a 21-and-5 record in the Octagon with 13 knockouts.
The UFC is a mixed martial arts fighting competition inside a walled octagon. Fighters are allowed to kick, knee, punch, elbow and tackle their opponents while wearing only slightly padded gloves, according to the UFC Web site, www.ufc.com.