"If (a teammate) can beat me, they can beat me," Liddell said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "It is what it is. They deserve to fight me then. I'm not going to hold back some guy that's in my camp if he wants to fight me. That's not my thing.
"It's just a personal choice and a personal opinion, but I think eventually, hey you guys are going at it, then go out and have two beers together afterwards. Go out there and prove who's best that day, and go out and be friends again."
Obviously, by now it's clear both Evans and Jones see the issue a little differently. An oft-repeated axiom says to always fight with a clear mind and never let emotion cloud your judgment. Yet throughout the lead-up to UFC 145, emotions have run higher than they have for any light heavyweight title defense in years, leading some to speculate if the bad blood could be a detriment to either competitor.
But Liddell had a few wars of words of his own back in day, and the way he sees it, making things personal wasn't ever a bad call.
"I think that helps for me," Liddell admitted with a chuckle.
"Some guys are better when they don't like the guy. For me, it helps me train. ... I say it all the time, but it makes it a lot easier when there's that back-of-your-mind motivation that ‘I do not like this guy. There's no way I want to let this guy beat me, so I'm going to be in the best shape I can be in.' I think (Jones and Evans) have got that."
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