Chuck Liddell: ‘Worrying about winning and losing, I don’t like playing safe. I never did.’
Chuck Liddell was a different breed of fighter.
He would have fit right in, had he been born a Roman gladiator… ready to kill, or go out on his shield. That’s how the former light heavyweight champion and hall-of-famer fought, too. You were either going to knock him out, or he was going to knock you out. If you were looking for proof, all you’d have to do is look at the last eight or so years of his career: two decisions (one with the equally tough berserker, Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva), and the rest? Knockouts. Either delivered by him, or to him.
In other words, Chuck Liddell never “played it safe”.
In a recent interview with MMAJunkie Radio, Liddell spoke about how the fighters of today don’t always have that “kill or be killed” mentality, and how they stack up to the fighters of his generation.
“I can’t really speak for (other guys), but guys need to be themselves – be a fighter. Worrying about winning and losing, I don’t like playing safe. I never did. It still worked out for me. I guess it’s a different time. I understand both sides – I understand playing it safe, and from a coaching standpoint. But at some point, I like to watch guys try to finish fights. That’s what makes it entertaining for me.”
He also spoke about the man who will challenge Jon Jones for the light heavyweight title at UFC 172 this April (and who happens to be his protégé), Glover Teixeira.
“Glover’s one of my favorites, but that has a personal thing to it. I like watching Anderson fight, and I like watching Hendricks fight. I like Aldo – he’s a slick striker and he goes after it. I just really like guys who try to finish fights, whether you’re a ground-and-pound guy, if you’re a slick jiu-jitsu guy.”
(To listen to the interview in its entirety, click here.)