Although Liu’s strength is his striking, he does not come from a Sanda background like most of his fellow Chinese MMA fighters. While many of his compatriots drew their martial arts inspiration from contemporary Chinese heroes like Bruce Lee, Liu was more fascinated by Boxing icon Muhammad Ali. And at the age of 14, he started training in Boxing, hoping to follow in Ali’s footsteps to Olympic gold. After twice winning China’s Youth Boxing Championships, a friend told him about a competition format where “you can use any fighting style you want.” Since then, Liu has adapted his powerful boxing into a broader arsenal of MMA skills, and has become almost as much of a threat on the ground as he is on his feet. With his fights rarely going the distance, and many of them ending in the first round, Liu is always aggressively looking to finish his opponents quickly.