In a recent interview with MMAJunkie's Steven Marrocco, UFC Hall of Famer said he doesn't appreciate the way Chael Sonnen sells fights.
“Chael’s a nice guy," said Liddell. "I’ve met him and hung out with him. I like him, and he’s a nice guy. I can’t stand the way he promotes fights.
“I understand what he’s doing; he wasn’t the most exciting fighter, so he made himself exciting by promoting the fight really well, and he got himself a couple of title shots for it. It works, but that whole crazy WWE-type stuff, that over-the-top stuff when you’re fighting a guy, doesn’t make sense to me, and I don’t like it.
“But it is what it is. Some of the fans like it, and it gets people to watch fights, that’s fine.”
“Some of the things he said, as far as I’m concerned, are over the line. Unless you’re known as an actor or being a WWE guy, you can get away with some of that stuff because everybody knows it’s fake.”
Sonnen was recently in a brawl with Wanderlei Silva on the set of TUF Brazil 3, that left both fighters banged up, and delayed their fight.
“I’m sure he didn’t mean to start it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he crossed the line and Wanderlei took a swing at him,” said Liddell. “Everyone has a line, and especially fighters.”
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Liddell also recently appeared on The MMA Hour, and took Jon Jones to task for not fighting the late replacement Sonnen; this led to the canceling of UFC 151, which was to have been on 1 September 2012. It is a little ironic that Liddell chose to criticize Sonnen, as his antics, and his fortitude, led to the title shot offer. Further, given Jones aggressive style of play, telling him to go after it more seems a little unwarranted.
"I would have done anything just to keep the fight," said Liddell said. "I'll fight anybody. I've already done all the training and I've already gotten ready for it. I'm in great shape and I'm the best light heavyweight in the world, I shouldn't be afraid to fight anybody."
"I think people liked the way I fight. My style of fighting is to go down and trying to finish the guy and trying to end fights, not laying up because I'm winning the fight, just keep going after it.
"I think pulling out of [UFC 151] really fight really hurt him with the fans. That was, you're fighting a guy coming up from a weight class down, who, when you're given a chance, I heard an excuse about him being a southpaw, I mean, c'mon, you fought a [lefthander] the fight before. And it's not like Chael is a slick southpaw, a slick striker, he's a brawler with the stance because he shoots that way. Pulling out of that probably hurt him with the fans, I mean, it's just I think some of the stuff he says they don't agree with. You can't have everything."
"I like Jon, I think he's a good guy. I'd like to see him get after it more and try to finish more. But he's tough man, he's doing what he does."
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