Chuck Liddell: I could still give Jon Jones problems right now
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell isn’t ready to call Jon Jones the best at 205 pounds quite yet. "The Iceman" will allow that, should he make a successful return to action this year, he will certainly be the best of his own time.
"We’ll see how he comes back. He shows up to fight. He always shows up in shape. He’s good at winning fights," Liddell told "The Fighter and The Kid" podcast this week.
"If he keeps beating everybody, he’s the best, right now, yeah."
Liddell was known for his stand-up striking knockouts, but was a Division I collegiate wrestler before he became a fighter and believes that he’d out-wrestle Jones. Once the fight stayed standing, Liddell believes that — in his prime — he would have given Jones some problems.
"I still think that if he fought someone like me, in my prime, he would have a lot of trouble," Liddell continued.
"The problem is, he doesn’t hit hard enough to hurt me, he’s not going to out-wrestle me. He’s not going to out-wrestle me, and I hit too hard for him. I’m going to catch him at some point . . . I will hit him. I will put my hands on him."
In fact, Liddell — ever the warrior — believes that right now, decidedly not in his own prime, he could still be a problem for Jones, if they were to somehow fight. "I could still give him trouble," he maintained.
Liddell often used his wrestling skills in reverse, so to speak, defending takedowns and scrambling back up to his feet so he could stand and trade strikes. He says that if he were to fight light heavyweight contender Anthony Johnson, however, he would have to put the Blackzilian on his back.
"Anthony has always had trouble with wrestlers," he explained. "Here’s the thing, I’m a good wrestler. Looking at him, even though that’s not the way I like to fight, most of the time, I would have to take him down. There’s no reason to stand in front of him."
This is just a snippet of what is an amazing, free-wheeling and revealing conversation with Chuck Liddell on "The Fighter and The Kid". So, make sure you check out the entire episode above and at the outlets below for a fascinating look at Liddell’s career, including a bunch of behind-the-scenes stories.
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