Chuck Liddell promises he’s not trying to start a beef with former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, but he’s never going to apologize for believing that he could beat him in a fight.
Liddell was asked about facing Jones in his prime and the UFC Hall of Famer gave an honest assessment on how he believed he could walk away victorious. The comment sparked a series of responses from Jones on Twitter before the two fighters finally came face-to-face at UFC 196.
Liddell says he wasn’t trying to stir up bad blood with Jones, but he’s not going to back down from the idea that if he fought the top pound-for-pound fighter in the sport, he would come away victorious.
"Somebody asked me the question — would you beat him in your prime? Of course, I’ll beat him in my prime. What am I supposed to say? You’ve got a problem with me saying I’ll beat you in my prime, I’ll beat you right now. If you’ve got a problem let’s go," Liddell told "Inside MMA" this past Friday.
"It’s one of those things, I’m not going to get mad at him if he says he can beat me in my prime. He should say that, he should think that. If I’m your coach, you better say that."
Liddell finally met with Jones at UFC 196, where the two former champions hashed out their issues after some back-and-forth exchanges through the media.
Liddell promises he wasn’t trying to get under Jones’ skin but insists that his opinion on the matter is still the same. If Jones didn’t like that response, too bad.
"Funny thing is we were at the UFC and he came up and he goes, ‘What’s up?’ and he was all hurt. I said, ‘Look man, if you want to talk trash on me on the Internet, you might want to tag me so I can respond, instead of just talking trash behind my back.’ Not that I really care, it’s the Internet already, it’s social media, people trash talk all over the place," Liddell said.
"But if you want me to know about it, I don’t follow you, so you’re going to have to send it to me. No. 2, he came up and was worried that I was mad at him — dude, you have my phone number. If you ever see an interview and you’re worried about it, call me. We’ll talk it out. Trust me, if I have a problem with you, you won’t have to look for me. I will show up."
A photo posted by Jon Bones Jones (@jonnybones) on
Following the talk between the two fighters in the crowd, Jones actually asked Liddell for a face-off photo that he later posted on his Instagram account.
When Liddell posed with Jones it appeared they were about to throw fists, UFC president Dana White freaked out momentarily thinking that there was about to be a battle between the two of them.
"The funny part about the whole thing when we were having that talk and he was talking to me, he goes, ‘We’re cool, can we do a face-off picture?’. So we start doing the face-off picture and Dana (White) turns around like, ‘Oh no, no, no!’ He thinks we’re going to fight," Liddell said with a laugh.
"Dana, come on, you know me better than that. Look, I’m not that guy. I’m not in your face, we’re not going to be arguing, we’re not going to be doing that. If I have a problem with you and we’re going to get there — I’m just going to hit you."