UFC LEGEND CHUCK LIDDELL AND PHENOMENON ISRAEL ADESANYA RINGSIDE FOR MASSIVE AMIR KHAN-BILLY DIB JEDDAH SHOWDOWN
Expect the King Abdullah Sports City to be awash with A-List stars from both the worlds of entertainment and sport when Amir Khan and Billy Dib collide for the WBC International Welterweight belt at the ‘Red Sea Fight Night’ in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Friday 12th July.
Last week Britain’s finest ever heavyweight Lennox Lewis – the 1988 Olympic gold medallist and former unified WBC, WBA and IBF king – confirmed his presence at ringside for the fistic feast in the dessert, live in the UK on free-to-air Channel Five and will feature a white hot undercard fronted by the juggernaut heavyweight collision between Hughie Fury and ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ Samuel Peter.
And this week UFC legend Chuck Liddell and UFC’s hottest prospect Israel Adesanya, have confirmed their attendance at ringside to what promises to be an historic landmark night for the sport in the MENA region.
Khan v Dib takes place during Saudi Seasons, which promotes the Kingdom as one of the most important tourist destinations in the world, and during a packed week of activities, Liddell and Adesanya will give seminars at Fitness Time gym in Jeddah.
Liddell – billed as ‘The Ice Man’ for his capacity to strike opponents unconscious – is one of the MMA franchise’s greatest ever stars. And he knows a thing or two about boxing, having been introduced to the Noble Art by his maternal grandfather in his native Santa Barbara, long before he carved his legend inside the Octagon.
In his prime, chiller Chuck was incontestably one of the most savage and complete fighting all-rounders on the planet. Formerly an NCAA collegiate wrestler, he went 20-2 as a kick boxer with an astonishing 16 victims sent for an early shower. He began his life in MMA by conquering the art of Brazilian ju-jitsu before reaching 8th Dan in the hybrid Hawaiian martial art of Kajukenbo
During a stand-out career between 1998-2010, the 6ft 2in Californian strike specialist ruled on the UFC light-heavyweight throne from 2005-2007 and successfully retained his claim on four occasions. Representing globally revered The Pit team, lethal Liddell smashed the record for the most knockouts in the history of the UFC 205lb division – his business card was a looping overhand right which twice won him the UFC ‘Kayo of the Night’ award – and was involved in a series of unforgettable tear-ups with fellow icons such as Randy Couture, Rampage Jackson, Tito Ortiz and Wanderlei Silva, to name just a few. His 2007 war with the latter scooped MMA Fight of the Year honours.
And ‘The Ice Man’ wasn’t just one of the UFC world’s greatest fighters, he reigned as one of its biggest personalities. The first UFC fighter to grace the cover of ESPN’s The Magazine, Liddell featured in 13 PPV fights netting almost 5.9million buys. He subsequently coached Team Liddell in Spike TV’s hugely popular ‘The Ultimate Fighter’, featured in 11 films, came 11th in Dancing with the Stars and was a houseguest in the US version of Celebrity Big Brother. Unsurprisingly, he was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in Las Vegas in 2009.
Joining Lewis and Liddell in Jeddah, will be present day phenomenon Adesanya, one of the most colourful, controversial and clinical operators on the UFC scene and is a nominee for The Best MMA Fighter ESPY.
Born in Lagos, Nigeria but a resident of Auckland, New Zealand since the age of 13, ‘The Last Style Bender’s combustible high-kicks have taken him to the UFC’s ‘interim’ middleweight championship. A flamboyant showman and incorrigible sledger, the 29 year old has evolved into one of UFC’s biggest box-office draws.
A stick thin 6ft 4in tall and sporting a telegraph pole 80in reach, Adesanya’s crushing kicks earned him 32-0 stats as an amateur kick boxer plus a record three King of the Ring awards. Like Liddle, he has also dabbled with conventional boxing, winning five of six among the paid brigade between 2014-15.
And the ‘Style Bender’ has proved an absolute sensation since gate crashing the UFC circuit in December 2017. Sporting a perfect 6-0 CV, his fan-friendly, flashy fighting skills have been recognised with three ‘Performance of the Night’ awards plus a brace of ‘Fight of the Night’ accolades.
Israel’s attendance around ringside in Saudi is sure to rouse emotions in what promises to be an unmissable evening of entertainment and action with more big names to be announced.