Our pal, Steve Cofield, aka Mr. Sunshine, had Chuck Liddell’s trainer, John Hackleman, as a guest on his show. Hackleman said he believed Keith Jardine won the fight vs. Liddell at UFC 76 and gave his reasons as to why he felt Liddell lost. He said that he doesn’t believe in any way that Liddell is done. In fact, he said they are trying to Shogun in December. Hackleman said this before the news broke (or right around the same time) that it was reported he’ll have surgery. He also mentioned Wanderlei”if the UFC would put it on.”
Oh, and he also called me a moron! Actually, a complete utterly stupid moron. As you may or may not know, I was critical of Hackleman and Liddell on Steve’s show right after UFC 76. Normally I’d shoot back with some witty comeback but I respect Hackleman, as well as Liddell. Hackleman has been in this game for a long time and has trained champions. I think in this isolated instance (the strategy employed during the fight) is legitimate criticism. If they don’t like the messenger, that’s fine. But I don’t think Hackleman did a good job defending against the message.
He said I need to get in the cage with Jardine and see if I can defend the kicks any better. First off, Jardine is above my weight class (oh yeah, and about ten times my skill level). Even if I checked them my leg would still be jacked. But at least I’d do the basic things necessary to at least defend the kicks. Chuck didn’t. The whole “I’d like to see him get in the cage” argument is weak because I’ve actually been in the cage. I sucked royally, but I’ve been in it and will be in it again (and the next time I am you’ll see a different fighter). I’ll never come close to fighting at a pro level but I’d like to think I have a little more knowledge about actual MMA fighting than the average pundit out there.
And, and by the way, don’t think for a second I wouldn’t hesitate to spar (or fight in a sanctioned match) with a top-level pro like Jardine. He’d destroy me but I’d accept the physical punishment in exchange for the first-hand knowledge. I’d like to know precisely how hard Jardine kicks and then after extensive medical treatment try and articulate my experience to everyone in writing. If any major pro camp afforded me the opportunity to come and train with their fighters for a day or two so I could get an education in what they do I’d pay my own expenses to go out and do it.
You can click here to hear the entire interview. Hackleman acknowledged that there were some things he could have done differently in getting Chuck prepared for Jardine but he tried to downplay the leg kicks. He said Chuck worked with a K-1 fighter to train defending the kicks but that the kicks weren’t an issue.
When Steve mentioned that even Dana White questioned Chuck’s hunger, Hackleman said it was okay. Yet when someone in the media who writes on the Internet questions Chuck they are automatically labeled a moron? That’s the same mentality I’m used to dealing in other major sports where the manager or coach is second guessed. In their minds, it doesn’t matter if you’re making a valid point or not, if you’re not one of “them” then it’s impossible for you to know anything about the sport.
I’ll stop being overly-sensitive. In hindsight, my criticism was over the top and I should have softened it. I’ve got to take my medicine and it would be irrational for me to expect Hackleman to respond favorably to my comments considering how they were phrased. The context wasn’t respectful towards Liddell and Hackleman and I apologize for that, but I standby the content. How can a smart guy like Hackleman legitimately say kicks weren’t a factor and that Liddell checked most of them? I guess he and I have a different definition of checking a kick.
- Cofield also interviewed Dorian Price, who lost to Matt Arroyo on last night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter. Click here for that audio.
- Casey Trowbridge of Combat Hooligans recently conducted an interview with Daniel Puder in anticipation of his match this Saturday for Strikeforce at the Playboy Mansion. Puder said he “doesn’t think Angle has the balls” to fight him. You can hear the show by clicking here. Casey also interviewed Puder a previous time, where he apparently said he hated fighting for BodogFIGHT. You can listen to that one by clicking here.
- Also, Matt Cava and I will be doing another edition of Inside the Cage Radio this weekend. We’ve already secured Dann Stupp from MMAjunkie.com to help recap UFC 76 and we’re working on a few other guests.
- You can still listen to last week’s outstanding edition of Inside the Cage with our special guests Kenny Florian, Ricco Rodriguez, and Joey Riggs. Just click the “play now” button below: