“I’ve never hand-picked an opponent.”
Those words from the mouth of former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell were spoken in order to shoot down a slew of rumors that popped up last week concerning Liddell possibly hand-selecting Keith Jardine as his opponent at UFC 76.
Liddell discussed the Jardine rumors as well as the usual fight selection process he went through in the UFC with MMA Weekly:
“There would be no reason to hand-pick Jardine. The only time I’ve ever asked for a guy is when I asked to fight Kevin Randleman because I wanted to fight a guy that had a name at the time because they kept giving me guys as little known as I was. I think that’s the only time I’ve ever asked for someone specifically.”
“They talked to me about fighting Wanderlei in September, and I said, ‘Yeah, that’s fine. Cool. Perfect.’ Then I heard it fell out. I assumed they were going to put me with Shogun [Rua] because I knew he was on the same card. I figured they would put me with Shogun, but they came to me and said they wanted me to fight Keith. I’m not complaining. I don’t argue with people about who I’m going to fight. I fight whoever they tell me to,” explained Liddell.
Various sites reported that Liddell was offered a choice between Jardine, Mauricio Rua, Kazuhiro Nakamura, and Ryoto Machida.
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