Chael Sonnen seems unclear of just why Chuck Liddell is talking about him as an easy fight, since Liddell has apparently already turned down the opportunity.
Back in the spring, rumors that Chuck Liddell might be looking to make a comeback started gaining traction. Liddell himself even gave the talk some life, saying “we’ll see,” when pressed on the issue. And while there hasn’t been much definitive news on a return to the cage for the former UFC champion since, the statement from Liddell was apparently enough to inspire Chael Sonnen.
Sonnen called Liddell out in a post on Facebook shortly after beating Wanderlei Silva at Bellator 180 in June. And followed it up by telling fans that Liddell would ‘most likely’ be his next opponent. Not long afterward, Liddell shot the whole idea down, telling TMZ that, “I’ve never been very interested in fighting him.”
However, when asked about the potential bout more recently by the outlet, Liddell took a slightly different approach. “Chael’s an easy fight. If I was gonna come back, it’s a good one, it’s a good warm-up for me. He’s got a big mouth, but not much behind it.”
But, if it sounds like Liddell may be warming to the idea, Sonnen seems to be going in the other direction. On a recent episode of his You’re Welcome podcast, the ‘American Gangster’ made it clear that Liddell had already been offered a chance to fight him and turned it down, twice (transcript via MMAFighting).
“No problem if he’s using that as a negotiation tool,” Sonnen said, talking about Liddell potentially leveraging interest in the fight to get a contract. “That is part of how the game is played and if enough people wanted to see it, it would be an effective tool. That’s kind of your measuring stick. When he can get publicity like TMZ, that’s a good sign for him but the bottom line is, he doesn’t have a contract. They offered him the fight and in fact, they offered it to him twice, in person. . . He didn’t take it.”
Sonnen went on to highlight his own recent active schedule in comparison to Liddell’s. And while he also said that he doesn’t think Liddell will actually ever take the fight with him, he reiterated that he is still ready and waiting.
“I just won a super-fight over the weekend against a three-time world champion,” Sonnen said, in reference to his ADCC 2017 victory over Leo Vieira, “meanwhile Chuck is walking around Beverly Hills with a haircut that looks like he lost a bet. What am I supposed to say? I can’t say yes any clearer. I don’t know how to speak any clearer than I am to you right now. I will fight Chuck right now. I will fight him next Saturday, the Saturday after that, the month after that, he can pick the day, he can pick the weight class, he can pick the rules, purse, anything. He’s said some stuff about ‘Chael just wants a big payday.’ My contract’s set. I’m getting a big payday either way…
“Chuck, the answer is yes. You’re the one that said no, you’re the one that said no a second time, you’re the one that’s pretending you want the fight. I’m fine with all of it but I don’t know what his endgame is. It’s not like he’s got sponsors so he’s trying to keep them out there. Who’s gonna sponsor him, some rehab clinic? It’s Chuck Liddell. This isn’t 1994 when the guy had a little bit of glory to his name.”