UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell spoke recently with FOX Sports Marc Raimondi, and discussed UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
"The Iceman" loves Jones overall game, and his elbows, but says he is not as impressed with Jones' punching power. Liddell, 44, noted that he did not find his own punching power until he started training under John Hackleman, when he was around the same age as Jones is now.
"I think I would have been a horrible matchup for him," said Liddell. "I would have walked through his punches and he wouldn’t have caught me with anything."
"I think it's too early to tell if he finds his punching power -- a good straight, a good hook -- then we'll see. I mean, not only score with it, but hurt somebody. Then we're talking."
"I would have found a way to hit him, and I hit too hard."
Fellow Hackleman student Glover Teixeira fights Jon Jones Saturday night in the main event of UFC 172, live on PPV. And on an appearance on Monday's The MMA Hour, Liddell predicted Teixeira will KO Jones.
"I think he either hurts him with a punch and he shoots and submits him, or knocks him out," said Liddell. "I'm not sure which one, but it's one of those things. Doesn't get past three."
Now Jones has responded, on UFC Tonight.
"That's not very nice Chuck, not very nice," said Jones with a mocking pout. "You gotta expect Chuck to have his boy's back, and that's what he's doing. He has been coming out with a lot of other stuff, like 'he would walk through my punches if he ever fought me' and 'he would beat me in his prime', and all this type of stuff.
"I am not going to sit here and insult Chuck. He's a very, very loved person by the masses. So I'm just going to keep my mouth shut. So it's like c'mon Chuck just knock it off, I respect you, so chill out."
Host Chael Sonnen asked Jones if he thought it was a conflict of interest for Liddell, now a UFC exec, to take sides in Saturday's fight.
"I think it is a little bit," said Jones. "And at the end of the day of Chuck want's to come out of retirement, I welcome him, to a superfight."
Naturally Liddell responded.
"I'm retired," said Chuck. "I'll let Glover take care of that tomorrow night."
"[Jones] is great. He's beaten all the guys they have right now. He's doing a great job, I'm not saying anything about that and he's still gonna get better. In my prime, yeah, I think I knock him out. Is he in his prime yet? I don't think so, but I'm a fighter and I always think I'm gonna beat everyone in the world."