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Liddell’s Not a Fan of GSP Fighting “Safe”

Kelsey Mowatt

Chuck Liddell

As Georges St. Pierre’s next title defence at UFC 167 draws near, look for discussions and debates regarding the welterweight champ’s style to increase. While there’s no question the star is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport, there’s no shortage of critics who say he fights too conservatively. GSP has won 11 straight fights, and defeated many top welterweights along the way, but only three of those have come via stoppage.

One decorated fighter who was never accused of looking to win rounds, rather than finish fights, was Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell. He’s been critical of fighters who he says don’t look to stop their opponents in the past, and while speaking on ESPN’s “Sports Nation”, Liddell took aim at GSP (comments via MMA

“I think some people make complaints about some of the champions playing it safe. I understand it, but I don’t want to watch it. I think [Georges] St-Pierre is a great fighter. He’s awesome. Jon Jones is a great fighter. I just don’t like watching him {St-Pierre} play safe. And he fights safe. I mean against {Nick} Diaz he spiral rode him for half the fight. I don’t like watching that.”

“Now, for him to 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,” said Liddell, who also noted he enjoyed Jones-Gustafsson since the latter pushed “Bones”. “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.”

That seems to be the general consensus about the upcoming GSP-Hendricks scrap, since the latter is a ridiculously talented wrestler. So, whether GSP will have to solely rely on his stand-up abilities, which have presented issues for top tier opponents in the past, remains to be seen. It’s definitely a huge and compelling fight.

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