LOS ANGELES – Either a booker messed up, or someone wanted to see sparks fly.
Either way, Chael Sonnen (29-15-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) found himself in a shouting match with Chuck Liddell (21-8 MMA, 16-6 UFC) at a studio while promoting his upcoming fight with Quinton Jackson (37-12 MMA, 4-1 BMMA) at Bellator 192.
On Tuesday, Sonnen made an appearance on NFL Network’s “The Rich Eisen Show” and was asked to leave a message for Liddell, who would be on the show today. Of course, he didn’t leave the friendliest of messages, making fun of Liddell’s trademark mohawk.
What Sonnen didn’t realize was Liddell actually was scheduled for Tuesday, as well.
“Turns out, old Chuck was in the back, watching it in the back with my mother,” Sonnen told reporters at today’s media day for his heavyweight grand prix bout, which co-headlines the Paramount-televised event Saturday at The Forum. “So my mom and uncle had to get involved, and it was just a big colossal nightmare.”
Sonnen said the two needed to be separated, and things got weird. But he downplayed the fallout.
“I don’t think there’s anything there,” he said. “I don’t think he’s going to fight again. I didn’t ask him point blank, because we were too busy yelling at one other. He looked like he was in shape.”
It’s no wonder, because Liddell literally has been climbing mountains as a cast member on the new YouTube Red reality series “Ultimate Expedition.” The UFC Hall of Famer traveled to Peru to climb a 20,000-foot mountain in the Andes.
President Scott Coker has thrown some cold water on the idea, noting Liddell would need to undergo a battery of tests before being allowed to fight. After his latest run-in, however, Sonnen is readier than ever to meet Liddell in the cage.
“I’m up for it right now,” Sonnen said today. “I’m ready to fight him yesterday in the green room, would have reached right over my mother.”
The feeling is probably mutual for Liddell, who apparently wasn’t shy about voicing some of his long-held criticisms about Sonnen. Sonnen thinks the retired fighter is just feeling left out of a changing of the guard in the sport.
“Chuck is seemingly a very nice guy,” he said. “But he came through the competition era. And we’re in the entertainment era. Some of those guys, they get offended a little easier. The table they helped set, and he did in fairness, has changed. They feel like it changes their legacy, and they feel left out.
“Let him be pissed. What do I care about Chuck’s feelings?”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Chael Sonnen describes backstage altercation with Chuck Liddell at 'Rich Eisen Show'