LAS VEGAS – Chuck Liddell lost his UFC light heavyweight championship Saturday the same way he had won it, on the end of a powerful overhand right.
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson knocked out Liddell at 1:53 of the first round, sending the champion to his first defeat in more than three years and claiming the belt that Liddell had held since 2005.
Liddell had landed a left to the body when Jackson raked him with a crushing right. Liddell collapsed in a heap and Jackson pounced. He landed several hard shots with Liddell prone on the ground before referee John McCarthy dove in to stop it.
"This feels good for all you fans who boo me," Jackson said, grinning.
Liddell's last loss was in 2003 to Jackson in a fight when both were in the Pride Fighting Championship.
That bout went into the second round, but Liddell did next to nothing Saturday before Jackson brutally knocked him out.
Liddell landed no punches of consequence and, at one point, Jackson backed off and urged him to fight.
When he did, it was not good for Liddell.
"I got caught," Liddell said solemnly. "There's nothing else I can say."
After the bout, the UFC announced that Jackson's first defense would be against Dan Henderson, who holds both the middleweight and light heavyweight belts in Pride.
- Chuck Liddell