John Hackleman: Chuck Liddell Connected with Fans in a Way Jon Jones Never Will

John HeinisSenior Analyst IMarch 31, 2014

Chuck Liddell, left, throws a punch against Wanderlei Silva, of Brazil, during their light heavyweight bout at UFC 79 at the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino in Las Vegas, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2007. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong

John Hackleman, the head trainer of UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell—as well as upcoming light heavyweight title challenger Glover Teixeira—has a bone to pick with current champ Jon Jones.

Speaking on Saturday's edition of Submission Radio, transcription per MMA Fighting, Hackleman explained why he believes fans are turned off by champions who look past scheduled opponents. 

I don't really pay attention to who's overlooking who, but if he's doing that, that's kind of rude and kind of a slap in the face to Glover and it's pretty disrespectful and if he is really doing that. If the fans are doing that then whatever, that's fans, but if Jon Jones is really doing that which I don't think he really is, then to me that's just disrespectful and rude and that's maybe why, you know, people don't love him like they did Chuck.

Chuck would never have done that. Chuck always looked at his next opponent as the biggest opponent he has. He was never, 'Well, I'll get past this guy, I'll worry about this guy. He never would do that."

Hackleman also commended Liddell and Teixeira for their love of training and respect for the fans, characteristics he is unsure if Jones possesses. 

Liddell retired at the end of 2010 after losing five of his last six bouts, but he is still regarded as one of the greatest light heavyweights of all time. 

Between April 2004 and December 2006, "The Iceman" recorded a UFC record of seven straight victories via knockout. 

On the other hand, Teixeira enters his UFC 172 title tilt with "Bones" on the strength of a 20-fight win streak, including a 5-0 mark inside the Octagon. 

Meanwhile, Jones heads into his seventh title defense after winning 10 consecutive bouts, recording eight stoppages during that roughly four-year time span. 

The champion has had little to say about the April 26 showdown, as many fight fans seem more interested in hearing his thoughts on a rematch with Alexander Gustafsson or grudge match with Daniel Cormier.  

Does Hackleman make a compelling argument, or is he simply trying to hype up his star client heading into the biggest fight of his career?


John Heinis is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA editor for