Because this weekend’s UFC 172 title fight between Jon Jones and Glover Teixeira isn’t quite interesting enough to discuss, FOX Sports’s Marc Raimondi decided to ask Teixeira’s longtime training partner Chuck Liddell how he would have done against Jones, back when he was in his prime. Chuck’s answer is both eye-rollingly delusional and totally unsurprising:
Liddell loves Jones’ overall game, but is not at all impressed with his punching power. He thinks if the two would have fought in his prime, he would have knocked Jones out.
“I think I would have been a horrible matchup for him,” Liddell told FOX Sports. “I would have walked through his punches and he wouldn’t have caught me with anything…I would have found a way to hit him,” Liddell said, “and I hit too hard.”
Those are the only correct responses. If you believe otherwise, you’re stuck in a fanboy time-warp. And Chuck? Please don’t turn into Royce Gracie. We’re begging you.
Speaking of the Iceman crapping on current UFC stars, Liddell also took some time to diss Chael Sonnen’s self-promotion routine:
“Chael’s a nice guy. 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.”
This is what happens when you’re replaced by Ronda Rousey in the heart of Dana White — you get grumpy. I actually agree with Chuck in theory, but look, the majority of MMA fans are just frustrated pro wrestling marks who are all angrily suppressing their love for fake heat, dramatic storylines, and steel-chair run-ins. We know this, and that’s why Chael Sonnen can literally talk his way into stardom. Chael’s TUF Brazil beef with Wanderlei? Friggin’ gold.
Meanwhile, Chuck Liddell is just some guy who used to punch people so hard that they fell over, and didn’t say much during press conferences. If MMA fans were interested in that in the year 2014, Glover Teixeira would be a huge star. But he’s not. And that’s why we’re talking about Chuck Liddell right now, instead of the guy who’s actually fighting this Saturday. See how that works?