MANILA, Philippines – UFC legend Chuck Liddell said he would have taken the Chael Sonnen fight if he were in Jon Jones’ place.
But Liddell refused to flame Jones’ for the latter’s decision that led to the cancellation of UFC 151.
“I would have taken the fight,” Liddell said in Yahoo! Sports.
“But I don't make his decisions or run his career for him.”
Jones, the UFC light heavyweight champion, has been receiving heavy criticism for turning down a Sonnen bout on eight days’ notice. UFC 151 was supposed to take place on September 1.
He was later offered to fight Lyoto Machida on UFC 152 on September 22, but it was Machida who refused the fight this time. The Japanese-Brazilian reasoned that three weeks are not enough to prepare against Jones.
Liddell said Machida’s reasoning was understandable.
“That's a different thing,” Liddell said. “Machida would have got a title fight he was in line for, whereas Chael was taking a title fight he wasn't in line for. If Lyoto was not in shape, I guess I understand. He was beat by Jones last time and he would have wanted time to prepare. It is different from a peak Jones turning down a fight.”