Chuck Liddell vs Jose Pelé Landi
MMA icon The Iceman Chuck Liddell vs Jose Pelé Landi Jons in this 1998 no holds barred, Vale Tudo matchup. Vale Tudo is full-contact unarmed combat events, with a limited number of rules. That became popular in Brazil during the 20th century. The combat sport of Vale Tudo that had developed in Brazil from the 1920s. Was then brought to the United States by the Gracie family in 1993 with the founding of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
And Liddell went to Brazil to test himself against one of their biggest stars in Pelé Landi. Vale Tudo does also not allow for any gloves. So fighters use bare knuckles and a range of strikes. Including headbutts, groin strikes, kicks to downed opponents and more. This was truly the precursor to the UFC, where initially the same no rules situation applied. And it was the kind of fights like this where Chuck Liddell built a name for himself. Before going on to become the UFC light heavyweight champion.
Second Professional Fight For Liddell
This was actually only the second professional fight in the career of Liddell. So he was still very much on the learning curve as a mixed martial artist. While Chuck was an NCAA Division wrestler and an accomplished kickboxer. His experience in the world of MMA was at this point limited. But his combination of ground and standup fighting would obviously serve him very well in the ever-evolving sport.
Pelé Landi was a well-established fighter in Brazil and went into the fight the hot favourite. But it was not to be his night, as the American came to Brazil to win and not merely get a fight under his belt. A really great fight that had everything and showed us just a little of what we could expect from Liddell in the years ahead.
So let us take a closer look at this now-classic matchup that would set out the stall for the future UFC champion. Taking a fight on short notice on foreign soil, against one of Brazil’s best fighters. So much promise shown for one of the very best to ever compete in the sport.