By Steven Marrocco April 21, 2014 2:30 pm
Call Chuck Liddell old-fashioned, but he’s not much a fan of pre-fight theatrics.
Persona-driven fighters don’t do much for the former champ and UFC Hall of Famer when it comes to getting him excited about a matchup.
“It’s like Chael Sonnen,” Liddell told MMAjunkie this past week. “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.”
Liddell, who retired from active competition in 2010, doesn’t do much verbal sparring these days – that is, unless it involves his longtime rival, Tito Oritz. He came pretty close to WWE-style promotion in his near-trilogy of fights with the also-retired ex-champ and UFC Hall of Famer.
Liddell and Ortiz jawed at each other in the cage, after fights, on a reality-show set and in the media. Liddell came out ahead every time fists actually started flying, but the rivalry helped the UFC sell more than a million pay-per-view buys.
As beneficial as trash-talking has been to Liddell, however, he doesn’t like to see it in others. He couldn’t summon much of a response for expert trash-talker Michael Bisping, who at the time of the interview was about to fight Tim Kennedy after the two happily engaged each other in the media.