In Jon Jones’ Position, Chuck Liddell Would Have Taken the Fight with Chael Sonnen

September 10, 2012
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Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva at UFC 79Many of today’s active fighters have weighed in on the UFC 151 cancellation debacle, most saying that unlike UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, they would have stepped up and accepted the short-notice fight with Chael Sonnen.

The offer to Jones came after original opponent Dan Henderson fell out of the UFC 151 main event due to injury.

You can also count retired UFC Hall of Famer Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell among those that don’t understand why Jones wouldn’t accept the fight.

“I would have taken the fight,” Liddell said during a Monday live chat with fans on content partner Yahoo! Sports’ website. Like most other fighters, however, Liddell didn’t blindly condemn Jones.

“But I don’t make his decisions or run his career for him.”

After a short-notice fight wasn’t going to happen, UFC president Dana White announced the cancellation of UFC 151 and that Jones would instead face No. 1 contender Lyoto Machida at UFC 152 in Toronto just four weeks later.

Those plans also went awry when Machida declined the fight with Jones, leaving UFC officials to put together a fight between Jones and former champ Vitor Belfort, the new UFC 152 main event.

While Jones received a mountain of criticism for declining the Sonnen fight, Machida’s decision has been met with a modicum of understanding… including from the Iceman.

“Well, that’s a different thing,” Liddell commented. “Machida would have got a title fight he was in line for, whereas Chael was taking a title fight he wasn’t in line for. If Lyoto was not in shape, I guess I understand. He was beat by Jones last time and he would have wanted time to prepare. It is different from a peak Jones turning down a fight.”

So the burden still seems to teeter heavily towards Jones, but Liddell doesn’t let any opinions about whether Jones should or shouldn’t have taken the fight sway his opinion about who will win.

Liddell has been around the fight game his entire life, so isn’t clouded by the out-of-the-cage smoke swirling around the Jones vs. Belfort match-up.

“If you look at it on paper, Jones is the favorite and should win, but it is a big mistake not to think Vitor is very dangerous. I was a puncher and I believe in punchers’ chances.”

Stay tuned to for more UFC news and updates.

  • pooby

    OH MY GOD!!!!!

    STOP WITH THIS CRAP! WHO CARES? ANYBODY can say “Sure, I would have taken that fight”. You can go ask every irrelevant fighter in the world that question and their answer will be completely MEANINGLESS.

    Mmaweekly seems to have an unhealthy obsession with Jones not taking the fight with Sonnen.

    MOVE ON!!!

    • adriana

      Pooby- are you saying this because YOU would not have taken the fight?! Its ok to admit, you know…

    • I agree. To many articles on so many fighters who are just going to say, “I would have taken the fight”. I don’t think anyone is going to say they wouldn’t have lol.

    • RonnieV

      Nope, keep bringing it up! IMO, if the media, fans, and other respectable fighters keep bringing it up, the less it will happen down the road. Jones looks like a chump right now. No fighter wants to look like a chump or have a bad perception smongst the fans, media or their peers. To me this sets a good precedence. Hope fully next time a fighter is put in this situation, he remmeber what happened to Jones, and decides to take the fight.

      • dathump

        Maybe it will also force the UFC to stop spreding the cards so thin. There has not been a PPV in almost a year that I thought was worth the price. Some had a couple good fights booked but could have used 1 or 2 more good fights to round out the card. In 2010 when I believe most of the PPV had some worth to them there was 24 “events” that year including the 2 TUF finals. Now 2012 had 32 events scheduled with the fox and fx and what ever other deals they have going, don’t get me wrong I like the free fox shows, but to put the blame on any fighter for the cancelation of any event is ridiculous, when the blame should clearly be placed on the UFC greed machine putting the cart before the horse, way to many events before they have enough known talent to properly fill them.

        • Lesnardo

          in the last year or so, the UFC had only one card that fit your description of a stacked card, which was the all HW card with JDS and Overeem main event.

          But cards in general have gotten better no?

    • It’s not like you are being forced to read these articles or that other huge MMA news is being ignored…

    • KBEsq

      The next story is going to be:

      “Injured raccoon found on the highway with severe injuries after being run over by a car…raccoon says he would have taken the Sonnen fight if he was in Jon Jones’ position.”

  • Triggerman99

    This isn’t even old news anymore. This was old news a week ago.
    How many more people are you going to quote as saying they would have taken the fight? If you’re going to continue beating this dead horse, at least make it entertaining. Maybe you should ask Ken Shamrock if he would have taken the fight. That response would have been good for a laugh. Or maybe Kimbo Slice. I know! How about Bob Sapp? Let’s see what his big stupid ass has to say about this. Might as well, right?

    • MaritalArtist

      Kimbo vs jones. Make it happen Dana.

  • bajafox

    I don’t know why anyone is complaining about yet another “Would you have taken the fight?” article.

    Blame Jones for that, these articles would never have existed if he just did his job.

  • stevemcz11

    I believe these articles are not almost over. Only about another 15 or so years of fighters consistently accepting fights to go. We literally have every champion in UFC history except for Jon Jones under the heading of ALWAYS accepts fights so I would strap in gentlemen because I believe Jones will remain the only champion in the I dont accept fights category and hence other fighters will be compared to him every time a short notice bout is signed.

  • greaseygranny

    Jon Jones has a sweet labia.

  • gogogadgetplata

    Remember when Tito fought Cote on a days notice for the lhw belt because Guy Mezger had stroke like symptoms? How about when Hendo jumped in giving up 30 lbs to fight big Nog in pride because Fedor was injured? It seems like everyone says what they would do in Johns shoes instead of saying that in the past people had taken on worse situations and lived to fight another day. Even if he had lost it would have been better for his career. The kid is up there with the best in the ring no matter what though.

  • Spartacus

    Perhaps if there weren’t a list of comments on these JBJ being a sissy articles they might go away….however it isn’t likely as this is an all mma site and that is there job to report as menial as it may seem.

  • Why don’t all u lame ass people go to Jon Jones camp and tell him to his face how u feel about his manhood. Didn’t think so.

    • Triggerman99

      I keep my feelings about Jones’ manhood to myself.
      Wait, I mean…. uh, I don’t think about Jones’ manhood like that.

    • MaritalArtist

      Why would that be dangerous? He cares so much about his money and legacy that he would never hit anyone. Ergo, pretty much anybody can tell him off anytime they like. Just don’t touch the dude!

      • MaritalArtist

        If he hit someone, it could lead to a nasty lawsuit and possible jail time…. Big nono.

  • TKD

    LOL!!! MMAWeekly is really on the cutting edge with their current-events “news” coverage. Tomorrow they will be reporting on the latest news: Mike Tyson bites off Evander Holyfield’s ear.

  • shaman

    More damage control/misdirection for UFC cancelling a show? Sigh..

  • WarriorScholar

    Chuck was a real fighter,plus Chael would have been tailor made for him to knockout haha

  • markronin

    Of course he would take the fight, so would any rational fighter. Even those who defend Jones contradict themselves by saying they’d take the fight. Write an article about a fighter who says he wouldn’t take the fight, I haven’t heard of one.

  • “In Jon Jones’ Position, Chuck Liddell Would Have Already Forgotten If He Took the Fight with Chael Sonnen”

    There ya go, fixed.

  • MikeMc1983

    Mmaweekly, I beg of you, please track down Brock lesnar and ask him if he would have taken the fight. I think some of these guys would spontaneously combust if that article were next.

  • hey how many people would like to see the iceman fight again so what if he wins or looses its gana be great