Retired mixed martial arts (MMA) superstar Chuck Liddell may be a good friend of Chael Sonnen, but he doesn’t like the way Sonnen hypes up a fight.
Liddell, who defended the UFC light heavyweight title four times, said he is not a fan of Sonnen’s "WWE-style" of promotion, referring to the World Wrestling Entertainment.
“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,” he said in MMA Junkie.
Although Liddell admitted that Sonnen’s trash talk has earned him two title shots, he said this doesn’t make Sonnen an exciting fighter.
“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,” he said.
Trash-talking were plenty, too, during his heyday but Liddell said it didn’t work on him.
“But I’m one of those guys that if you’re doing something to get in my head and get me irritated, it’s real hard to get me irritated. Because I know that’s why you’re doing it. I’m not going to give you the satisfaction of getting me irritated. I know that’s what you’re trying to do, so whatever, guy,” he said.
Sonnen is set to fight Brazilian legend Wanderlei Silva on May 31 in UFC Fight Night.
The two are coaching opposing teams in The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3 and reportedly got into a fight at the middle of the series. Liddell initially suspected that the brawl was staged to promote the show.
“I’m sure [Sonnen] didn’t mean to start it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he crossed the line and Wanderlei took a swing at him,” Liddell said. “Everyone has a line, and especially fighters.”