#2 Chuck Liddell
Perhaps no other fighter stands as a better example of how quickly a legend can fall from the top of the mountain in MMA than former UFC Light-Heavyweight champion Chuck ‘The Iceman’ Liddell.
At the end of 2006, Liddell was the promotion’s biggest star and strongest drawing card, but in his first fight of 2007 he was knocked out by Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson and lost his title.
Liddell bounced back at the end of that year by beating PRIDE legend Wanderlei Silva, but a hamstring tear sidelined him for the majority of 2008, and when he returned, he seemed to have aged overnight and was violently knocked out by Rashad Evans. Another nasty knockout followed – this time at the hands of ‘Shogun’ Rua, and it appeared that Liddell’s once-granite chin had been cracked for good.
‘The Iceman’ retired from action, but ended up returning a year later, only to once again be knocked out, this time at the hands of Rich Franklin.
This time UFC President Dana White promised we’d never see Liddell in action again, and he was good to his word – handing him an office job with the promotion – but the UFC’s buyout at the hands of Endeavour in 2016 saw that job canned, and so ‘The Iceman’ made an ill-advised return to action in 2018 at the age of 48 to be knocked out by old rival Tito Ortiz. He hasn’t fought since, and hopefully won’t step into a cage again.