THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne
Over the past few years I’ve read and reviewed countless professional wrestling books, but only one on mixed martial arts. You see, living in a small English coastal town means that it’s quite unlikely that you’ll see an MMA themed book in our branch of Jarrolds. Which is why I was both surprised and pleased that I saw Chuck Liddell’s biography screaming at me from the shelf.
Iceman: My Fighting Life is the first MMA biography I’ve ever read. From the proverbial humble beginnings in a one parent family, it tells the life of one of the greatest fighters in MMA history. Ever since he was a young child abandoned by his father (or sperm donor as Liddell refers to him), he only wanted to do one thing – fight.
And fight he did, taking karate lessons, competing in countless wrestling tournaments during his educational years, through to his early days as a poorly paid kick boxer, right up to the moment where he made his MMA debut in the struggling Ultimate Fighting Championship. Well, it was struggling until Dana White and his pals saved the sinking ship.
Without a doubt Liddell is one of the most well-known and respected fighters ever to grace a mixed martial arts cage/ring/whatever, that much is apparent just by reading the great man’s words. He respects everyone he meets, unless their name is Tito Ortiz that is.
You see, Chuck and Tito just don’t get on, and it’s this part of the book which is the most intriguing, how the then-light heavyweight champion kept telling everyone how great he was. Great he may have been, but he was quite reluctant to defend his title against the up-and-coming Iceman, until both fighters lost big matches and both fighters had something to prove.
I can always tell how good a book is when I hear the author’s voice in my head while I’m reading. That’s just what happened to me while reading this book. Ghost written it may have been, but these words come straight from the Iceman’s heart and mind.
In conclusion – Iceman: My Fighting Life is a great read, it really is. If the only Liddell you know is the guy who lost fights to Rampage Jackson and Keith Jardine, then you won’t know much about his early days. This book will help you fill in those blanks. It’s the story of a man who’s life has been defined by his fighting, the story of a man who’s had to fight for everything in his life.
Chuck Liddell – Iceman: My Fighting Life is available wherever books are sold.