Chuck Liddell hates personal trash talk like Colby Covington’s comments: ‘It crosses lines’

UFC legend Chuck Liddell doesn’t mind trash talk, but make sure to keep his family’s names out of your mouth.

Unfortunately, it appears all bets are off when it comes to personal attacks in combat sports, especially in the wake of the tasteless comments Colby Covington launched — and continues to launch — at Leon Edwards about his late father in relation to their fight at UFC 296, which Edwards won in a rout. Liddell understands that fighters needs to sell fights to get people interested, but he hates how far things have escalated lately in the UFC.

“Some of the stuff they do nowadays, it’s not OK,” Liddell said on the Street Fight podcast. “It crosses lines, I think. But it is what it is. I guess that’s the thing now.

“Like talking about someone’s father, dad, or kids. Start talking about somebody’s kids. Like hey, I like Colby, but you run your mouth about my kids, you better have your hands up when I step up to you. Anywhere.”

Liddell credits retired UFC veteran Jake Shields for the philosophy he’s taken towards trash talk that crosses lines when it relates to another fighter. Liddell doesn’t care much when the jabs are coming from fans, but fighters should know better — or get ready to defend themselves if they go low and then come face to face with “The Iceman.”

“I think Jake Shields had a deal with a guy [Mike Jackson] — he said something that made real sense to me,” Liddell explained. “Here’s the thing — some fan says some B.S. about you or this or that, whatever. But if you’re one of us, you’re a fighter — you don’t get a pass to trash me.

“You can talk about me, you can talk about my camp, talk about my coach, whatever — that’s all fair game. But don’t talk about my kids, don’t talk about my family, don’t come after me that way because you’re one of us. If you come up and I slap you, don’t be surprised. Don’t act like, ‘Oh, I don’t know what happened, why’d you do that?’ Hey bro, you better expect it.”

Liddell never found himself getting into brawls outside the cage despite several heated rivalries during his career. He never went looking for trouble in that way, but the 54-year-old UFC Hall of Famer admits things would have changed dramatically if somebody went out of bounds with an insult for the sake of selling a fight.

“Typically, I’m not that guy,” Liddell said. “I don’t want to hurt anybody, but I’m very protective of the people I care about.”

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