Multiple time world champion Chuck Liddell says that he would be open to appearing on WWE programming today after turning down their advances in the past.
Liddell, a UFC Hall of Famer, is one of the most recognisable faces in the sport and one of the central figures who helped grow the UFC brand and the sport of mixed martial arts long before it became the global entity that it is today. As such, and as was the case with several other mixed martial artists during that time, the top brass in World Wrestling Entertainment became interested. The situation progressed to a semi-formal offer from Shane McMahon, but Liddell couldn’t be swayed at the time to swap the world of professional combat for its pantomime cousin.
“Actually, I used to hang out with Shane McMahon every once in a while, we would go out and party sometimes. Good dude. And he said ‘If you’re ever seriously interested about coming over we should talk.’ But, you know I never really… I love fighting and I love being in real fighting and I mean I got nothing against WWE,’ Liddell said via ComicBook.com.
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“I wouldn’t mind doing that now too. It’s just acting, going out and doing the acting. That’s more like acting. Those guys, they’re very, it’s a lot of training for those guys. Those guys do some pretty impressive things in the ring as far as… I mean it’s all staged, but it’s still you know, it’s not easy. One of the things I’ve always had with that sport too, is… the difference between my sport and their things, see you’re putting your trust in the other guy not to hurt you. Surrendering your body to him. Like, throw you and hope he doesn’t hurt you. In my sport, I’m responsible for you not hurting me. I like having the responsibility on my end not yours.”
There have been several crossover stars between the UFC and the WWE, with Ronda Rousey and Brock Lesnar proving to be substantial box office draws in both arenas and Liddell says that the real-life animosity which occasionally comes in the UFC is ideal for preparing for the WWE.
“I think you bring the fan base with you. And then, if you can get out there and perform and do your [stuff], it’s a little more over the top. I mean you see a lot of that with the fighters nowadays in the UFC. Seems like they’re taking a cue from the WWE guys, some of them. You just get a little more over the top with the guys. Some things you’ve done before. You’ve faced-off with people, you’ve talked s— to guys. There’s a lot of going back and forth. I think to do that it’s just setting if you’re willing to get out there and perform.”