That set off a string of winning performances where "The Iceman" was able to win nine straight mixed martial arts (MMA) fights by way of knockout or technical knockout, making him one of the most popular fighters in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Right when MMA experienced its boom in popularity.
That's something the now-retired Liddell wants to see more of from this generation of fighters. And he's not just a UFC Hall-of-Famer calling shots from his couch, he's the promotion's new Vice President of Business Development and he wants to develop a more exciting product.
From his conversation with U-T San Diego:
"I'd really have to talk to the guys to see if that's really what they're doing. I see it like guys are trying a lot more to just get their win so they can get their next fight. When we were doing it, it was a lot more about just going out and fighting. I hate hearing in a UFC corner ‘you won the first four rounds, just stay away from him this round.' The guy doesn't have a knockout punch, hasn't taken you down the whole fight, why do you have to go be afraid of him? Go out and win! Make it exciting, go knock him out, finish the fight."
Liddell has a point.
If you look at half of the promotion's champions, including Georges St. Pierre, Ben Henderson, Dominick Cruz and Demetrious Johnson, combined they've gone to 25 straight decisions. That's a staggering number when compared to the other half, namely Anderson Silva, Jon Jones, Cain Velasquez and Ronda Rousey.
Combined, they have just 13 decisions across their entire careers, and eight of those belong to "The Spider."
But here is the counter to that argument.
The promotion is whacking people left and right (see the latest cut list here), which means winning has become more important than putting on a dazzling performance. St. Pierre too, has huge endorsement deals with Gatorade and Under Armour, which come from being a dominant champion.
By any means necessary.