Former UFC light heavyweight champion and Hall of Famer, Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell, appeared on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’ on Tuesday for a wide-ranging interview.
When asked how the sport has changed since his retirement in 2010, Liddell suggested that some of the UFC’s new champions have shown a tendency to ‘play it safe,’ in particular GSP:
“I think some people make complaints about some of the champions playing it safe,” said Liddell. “I understand it, but I don’t want to watch it. I think St. Pierre is a great fighter. He’s awesome… I just don’t like watching him play safe. And he fights safe. I mean against Diaz he spiral rode him for half the fight. I don’t like watching that.”
“Now, for him to be able to do that to guys that are at that level is impressive. But it’s not exciting to me. And the way they chose the fight. I mean ‘I’ve been beating this guy up for four rounds, I’m still just gonna win the last round. I’m not gonna try to finish him. I’m not gonna go after him. I’m not gonna take any risks.’ From a coaching standpoint and a manager’s standpoint, I understand. It makes sense. It’s big money now. But from a fan’s standpoint, I don’t want to watch it, [not] unless I think he’s fighting someone that can make him fight. I actually think this next fight coming up, I’m excited, he’s fighting Johny Hendricks and I think Hendricks is going to make him fight.”
St. Pierre is scheduled to defend his UFC welterweight title against #1 contender Johny Hendricks at next month’s UFC 167 event in Las Vegas.
Do you agree with Liddell’s assessment of Georges St. Pierre’s ‘play it safe’ fight style? Let’s hear it Penn Nation!