Ronda Rousey ruffled some feathers recently when she blasted wrestling fans for being ungrateful and called the sport fake fighting. She received criticism both from wrestling fans and from those she shared a locker room with in WWE.
Fellow UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell talked about Rousey's leap from the octagon to the ring when he joined The Wrestling Inc Daily podcast.
"She was playing a character in the fight game. I feel bad for her with the way things ended up," admitted Liddell. "She took it pretty hard with the way people came after her. But when you play that character that brash, I'm kicking everyone's ass character, when you lose then the wolves are gonna come after you and rip you a new one. You've gotta take it with a grain of salt. Playing that part, you're gonna pay for it eventually unless you go undefeated."
Many think Rousey's comments were just her setting up her return to the squared circle and Liddell said he doesn't know if she'll return to pro wrestling. But he did say he didn't find anything offensive with what Rousey said about wrestling.
"People were all mad at what she said about pro wrestling and fighting. But I looked at it and it makes sense – there's nothing offensive said in that. She said it articulately and I don't think any of those [wrestlers] think it's a real fight. I'm not saying none of those guys can fight. I'm saying that that out there is not a real fight. Maybe some can and some can't," stated Liddell.
"I work with football players in the offseason and I've seen guys 300 pounds that can't hit a mitt. I've got girls that can hit harder than they do. I've also got guys that nearly take my shoulder off. Kyle Long, I was ready for him and I thought he was gonna break my elbow.
"What she said was very articulate and I think everyone got a little over-mad. But that happens all the time when you're a public figure."
Wrestling fans in particular took issue with Rousey belittling the business and Liddell was asked about fans being emotional any time someone speaks negatively of wrestling.
"I didn't feel like she was putting it down. I understand their point but I don't think she was attacking it that way. What they do is real and I have all the respect in the world for the stuff they can do out there and being able to do it week in and week out," said Liddell. "I always tell people that it's a lot more comfortable for me to walk into a cage, have another guy across from me and know that my job is to not let him hurt me.
"In pro wrestling, you've got a partner out there where you're gonna do some crazy stuff. I'm gonna let him throw me and do some crazy stuff, and I'm trusting that he doesn't hurt me. It's his job not to hurt me. I'm not as comfortable with that. And these guys are on the road doing seven shows in 10 days. It's crazy stuff and sometimes guys are tired and you can make mistakes. I always preferred being in charge of protecting my body. I want me in charge of you not hurting me, not you in charge."
Chuck Liddell stars in Cagefighter which will make it's international debut on Sunday May 16th via FITE.tv. Chuck's full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of today's episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon by clicking here.