Chuck Liddell: I Hate the 'WWE-Type Stuff' Chael Sonnen Uses to Promote Fights

John Heinis@HeinisHardNewsSenior Analyst IApril 23, 2014

Chuck Liddell arrives at Xbox One Official Launch Celebration at Milk Studios, on Thursday, November, 21, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Richard Shotwell

UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell was never opposed to hyping his fights, but he would typically prefer to let his fists do the talking inside the Octagon. 

Therefore, it should come as little surprise "The Iceman" is no fan of three-time title challenger Chael Sonnen's over-the-top interviews to promote his fights in recent years. 

The UFC's vice president of business development said as much in an interview with MMA Junkie

Chael’s a nice guy. I’ve met him and hung out with him. I like him, and he’s a nice guy. I can’t stand the way he promotes fights.

I understand what he’s doing; he wasn’t the most exciting fighter, so he made himself exciting by promoting the fight really well, and he got himself a couple of title shots for it. It works, but that whole crazy WWE-type stuff, that over-the-top stuff when you’re fighting a guy, doesn’t make sense to me, and I don’t like it.

But it is what it is. Some of the fans like it, and it gets people to watch fights, that’s fine.”

Sonnen, who is 3-4 in his past seven fights, began adopting a larger-than-life persona leading up to his UFC 117 fight with then-middleweight champ Anderson Silva in August 2010. 

From that point forward, Sonnen asking for Silva's wife to cook him a steak medium rare and saying Fedor Emelianenko "sucks" became the norm for "The American Gangster." 

The 37-year-old is currently scheduled to settle the score with old rival Wanderlei Silva at UFC 175 on July 5, though he isn't sure if "The Axe Murderer" is going to show up, so he's angling for a fight with Rich Franklin

While Sonnen didn't address Liddell directly, it appeared he responded to the ex-UFC light heavyweight champ's criticism on Twitter early Tuesday morning. 

Yeah... Ya know, I'm gonna forgive this one. Perhaps I wasn't clear. Moving forward, if I want your opinion, I'll beat it out of you.

— chael sonnen (@sonnench) April 22, 2014

Do pro wrestling-style promos have their place in MMA, or do these sort of antics actually hurt the sport in the long haul?


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