Welcome to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. UFC 19 was held on March 5, 1999. This would be the Iceman's first televised fight in the UFC. Chuck was coming off a 30 minute war against Jose Lndi-Jons at IVC 6, where he picked up his second straight decision victory. This bringing his MMA record to a prefect 2-0. Liddell's third fight would be against the one, the only Jeremy Horn. Horn was coming off a decision victory over Steve Berger at the submission fighting championships.
UFC 19 had stacked card, as it featured guys like Evan Tanner(RIP), Kevin Randleman, Maurice Smith, Gary Goodridge, and Tito Ortiz. It was a treat to watch this entire event years later. One of the first things I noticed was there were no sponsors on the canvas. It looked so bare, similar to watching old hockey footage with no ads on the boards. The second thing that caught my ear was Bruce Buffer's voice. He seemed very unsure of himself, and his voice. Don't worry Bruce, you got it now. These little things I noticed, just prove how far the sport has come.
The two warriors exchange a few strikes back and forth in the opening minute. Chuck gets caught with a head kick, but manages to stay on his feet. Just a few minutes in, and Horn drops to guard from the clinch. Jeremy got popped with a few shots, and really didn't want anything to do with Chuck's stand up.
Liddell keeps busy, and tries to make Horn pay for dropping guard. The Iceman throws nasty shots that land to the body and the head. Horn is very sneaky on the ground, and tries to get Chuck in a heel hook. Liddell was in pain, and it looked like the fight could be over. Then you could hear his corner yelling for him to roll, which Chuck does. Then the corner screams key lock his foot Chuck. The Iceman was listening to his corner very well, and it got him out of trouble a few times during the fight.
Liddell would get out of the heel hook, and get back on top. Now Liddell's pissed, and slams his fists into Horn's face. Close to 8 minutes in, and Horn out wrestles Liddell and ends up on top. Big John McCarthy decides Horn isn't working enough so he stands them up. From the restart Chuck tries his overhand right, fortunately for Jeremy it just misses.
Liddell throws a thudding leg kick. Horn returns the favour, and follows it up with a take down. Jeremy passes to half guard, then rolls into a reverse rear naked choke with only seconds left in the 12 minute round.
The horn sounded to end the round, and I thought we were off to a 3 minute overtime. Horn got up, but Chuck didn't. Liddell would lie limp on the canvas. Seconds later he came to. John McCarthy was stopping the fight as the horn went. This would be Chuck Liddell's first loss in his MMA career. I watched this fight twice, and even though the Iceman lost it was a great battle. The best thing about this fight is the rematch that will come down the road. I can't wait to get to that one.
First though, the Iceman will try to rebound from this loss. He will face Kenneth Williams at NG 11 in Los Angeles, California.