As one of the greatest fighters in UFC history, former light heavyweight kingpin Chuck Liddell commands a certain amount of respect around these parts.
Liddell has always been a fan favorite, full of honest and strict opinions about the fight game. The fact that he's still regarded as one of the best knockout artists of all time just fuels his public persona even more.
In any case, Liddell has been top light heavyweight contender Glover Teixeira's biggest fan.
Under the tutelage of Liddell's former trainer John Hackleman, the bruising Brazilian has received generous comparisons to "The Iceman," and rightfully so. He's undefeated in his last 20 fights and has recorded 16 first-round finishes.
But as good as Teixeira has been on the open Brazilian market and during his short stint in the UFC's top-heavy 205-pound division, he's never faced a dynamic phenom like 26-year-old champion Jon Jones.
However, Liddell seems to think Teixeira will have no problem getting past the range and experience of a guy like "Bones."
"I think [Glover] either hurts [Jones] with a punch and he shoots and submits him, or knocks him out," said Liddell on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour, originally reported by Dave Doyle of MMA Fighting. "I'm not sure which one, but it's one of those things. Doesn't get past [round] three."
Now, it's likely that Liddell is simply backing his guy up and feeding his momentum as this weekend approaches, but it's still alarming to hear one of the greatest competitors of all time throw today's pound-for-pound best under the bus.
"I thought style-wise it is a good matchup for him," said Liddell regarding Teixeira's punching power. "I think that’s going to have the biggest effect is the power that Glover has. He hits very hard."
Nobody knows for sure, but Saturday should be one of the most talked about fights in recent light heavyweight memory. It will be Teixeira's chance to prove his power, wrestling and ground game can stifle a fighter that was once considered unstoppable.
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