Morning Report: Chuck Liddell wants to see Georges St-Pierre, Jon Jones stop playing it safe

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Former UFC light heavyweight champion and Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell stopped by ESPN's SportsNation Tuesday to talk everything from knocking out Tito Ortiz to being bashed by Floyd Mayweather Jr. Asked his take on how things have changed since retiring from MMA in 2010, Liddell had some choice words for the UFC's new crop of stars.

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. 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.

Back to Jones, Liddell points to the light heavyweight champion's recent title defense to Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165 to make his point.

"That's exactly what happened. He had a guy that made him fight. He normally goes out and... To be able to do that to the guys he does it to and make it look easy? He makes it look easy against really good guys. That was a guy making him fight. {Jones} did really well and I thought he won the fight. Actually, I had it a draw but that's my opinion."

Liddell was then asked his take on some past comments made by Mayweather, who said in 2009:

"Man, who in the UFC as good as Floyd Mayweather? Look back to 2-3 years ago, when this all started. One of the stars in the sport, Chuck Liddell, has gone 3-4. The man has been Knocked out so many time his boss made him retire. How many times you seen Floyd Mayweather knocked out? How many times you seen Floyd Mayweather even knocked down? None."

OK, I've never seen that. I don't pay attention to that stuff. I think he's just mad because, I think in '07, he said he'd beat me in an MMA fight. I said 'come on man. I've got a 135lber (Antonio Banuelos) living at my house that he wouldn't make it out of the first round with if he fought MMA. I stand by it. In MMA, he won't make it out of the first round. I think at the time it was a testament to how big the UFC got because he was using my name to get in the press about a fight he had coming up. He was using UFC to get other fans thinking about his fight. Otherwise, why would he be talking about me?

Since then, Mayweather has gone on to become the highest paid athlete in sports. Reportedly banking a guaranteed fight purse of $41.5 million payday earlier this month for his record-breaking PPV with Canelo Alvarez. No hard feelings from Liddell.

Deservedly so. People want to say this or that. He puts people in the seats. He gets people to buy the Pay-Per-View. When it comes down to it that's what it's about. You wanna get paid? You gotta put people in the seats. He deserves it. That being said, on the 'playing it safe' thing, I don't like watching him fight because he likes to outpoint guys. Don't get me wrong, he is very talented to outpoint the guys he outpoints.

Liddell then finished the interview in typical Iceman fashion.

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5 MUST-READ STORIES

Kennedy vs. Natal. It took calling out the entire middleweight division, but Tim Kennedy finally has an opponent booked for UFC Fight for the Troops 3.

Johnson on TRT. Now a Bellator heavyweight, Lavar Johnson explains the positive drug test that led to his UFC release. "What happened was basically I was on TRT, I just didn't disclose it to the athletic commission," the 36-year old Johnson said. "It was my mistake. I was taking such little amounts; me and my doctor didn't think anything was going to pop up, like it's no big deal.

Friends fighting friends. According to Alistair Overeem's legendary striking coach, Mike Passeneir, it's important for fighters to 'stay on point' when it comes to being friendly with opponents. "We can say ‘hi' but I don't want to your friend because then I can't fight against you. And if I can't fight against you then it costs money. And if I don't bring money home I can't feed my children and that's a problem."

Dirty Toquinho. Ahead of his upcoming bout with Rousimar Palhares, Mike Pierce is prepared for the worst. "There's no surprise. He'll do anything to win because he's either desperate or an (a------). I'm not too concerned about that. I come in expecting he's going to be mean, try to be a bully, try to cheat -- I have to deal with it."

Maia's BJJ in MMA. A great technical breakdown on how Demian Maia has translated his dominant grappling pedigree into a successful UFC career.

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MEDIA STEW

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Warrior Code: Gilbert Melendez

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WHOA TV heads to Brazil.

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Meet new UFC bantamweight Sergio Pettis.

(HT to Bloody Elbow)

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Tommy Toe Hold answers fans' questions.

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3rd season of Alan Belcher's video blog.

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Anderson Silva's Miami scrum.

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Head kick KO.

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TWEETS

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We got it figured out.

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"You mean you eat oddah people's lunches? Stop it!"

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Looks pretty healed up.

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Some people disagreed with Chuck.

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No pressure, but 37K people are watching.

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He makes it work.

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Someone in Poland is finally getting some rest.

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The suffering transcends weight classes.

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Looks a lot like Target.

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I couldn't make heads or tails of this but here are some highlights.

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Oct. 1 2013)

Vaughan Lee vs. Sergio Pettis at UFC 167

Tim Kennedy vs. Rafael Natal at UFC Fight for the Troops 3

Roger Bowling vs. Abel Trujillo at UFC on FOX 9

Luiz Firmino vs. Jacob Volkmann at WSOF 6

Nick LoBosco vs. Fabio Mello at WSOF 6

Alexandre Pimentel vs. Jade Porter at WSOF 6

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via leriksson

WMMA: What to watch this month

I'm back for the October Edition of WMMA: What to Watch

A lot of solid WMMA action this month after a barren September.

.

Oct. 10 - 300 Sparta MMA 2

125lbs Flyweight

#12 Carina Damm vs. Yelka Torres

Should be an easy win for Damm. Torres is Peru's hometown chick, but she has basically no experience ( a 1-0 Thai record). Damm recently missed weight against new UFC signee, Jessica Eye, but was able to knock her down with an awkward head kick. In addition, she tested positive for PEDs for the 2nd time in her career. Which is hilarious cause only weeks later she competed in Brazil, winning by TKO, then the following month losing by armbar.

Fun fact: Carina Damm has only twice in Brazil. Once in 2005, and just recently to #11 Flyweight Kalindra Faria.

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Oct. 11 - Legacy 24

135lbs Bantamweight

Holly Holm (4-0) vs. Nikki Knudsen (2-1)

Holm is fresh off knocking the absolute fuck out of Allana Jones with a Cro Cop-esque left head kick. Would have been even better if she walked-off instead of follow up with punches, but... still badass. Holm has really blossomed into a full-fledged kick boxer despite her legendary boxing career.

...

Check out the rest of the post here.

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Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.

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