Chuck Liddell has never backed down from a challenge.
And he’s also never really tried to put on a show before stepping inside the Octagon – unless it involved long-time rival Tito Ortiz.
So, it’s of no surprise that “The Iceman” is not a fan of Chael Sonnen’s pre-fight antics. And while he has “hung out” and referred to Sonnen as a “nice guy,” he doesn’t get the pro-wrestling characteristics Sonnen puts on.
“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,” said Liddell, in an interview with MMAjunkie.com. “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.”
Sonnen worked his way into a championship match at light heavyweight vs. Jon Jones despite not competing at 205 pounds for several years. He also scored a rematch with then-UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva two years after taking him into the fifth round.
Liddell stepped away from fighting in 2010 and has a job as an executive with the UFC now. Sonnen continues to compete, but is also working for FOX Sports as a host and analyst. While he respects him, Liddell feels Sonnen has stepped “over the line” in interviews.
“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,” Liddell said. “Some of the things he said, as far as I’m concerned, are over the line.”