LAS VEGAS – Chuck Liddell has embodied everything that is great about mixed martial arts.

He’s intelligent, soft-spoken and as humble as they come. But when the bell rang to signal the start of a fight, nobody fought harder or created more havoc than the guy who came to be known as “The Iceman” because of the concussive power of his fists.

Liddell announced his retirement Wednesday during a news conference at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas that was packed with fans and media, ending an era in which he literally helped put the sport on the map