The former UFC light-heavyweight champion stated that although he believes Sonnen may be a "nice guy," he simply "can't stand the way he promotes fights."
Liddell understands that the self-promotion was a strategic decision on Sonnen's part, as it did manage to get him several title shots in multiple UFC divisions. While that may be the case, it just "doesn't make sense to him."
"I understand what he's doing; he wasn't the most exciting fighter, so he made himself exciting by promoting the fight really well, and he got himself a couple of title shots for it." Liddell told MMAJunkie.com. "It works, but that whole crazy WWE-type stuff, that over-the-top stuff when you're fighting a guy, doesn't make sense to me, and I don't like it."
Liddell held the 205lb. title for just over two years between April 2005-May 2007, defending the title against the likes of Randy Couture, Renato Sobral and Tito Ortiz before losing it to Quinton Jackson at UFC 71. During that period, Liddell had a well-documented rivalry with another light-heavyweight champ, Tito Ortiz, which featured a heated feud that eventually led to two different fights as well as a season of The Ultimate Fighter.
Even though the Liddell-Ortiz rivalry was one of the most popular in UFC history, Liddell was never much of a trash-talker and preferred to not allow his opponents the satisfaction of getting under his skin.
"I've kind of gotten over the persona thing; I haven't paid much attention to what he's been doing. But I'm one of those guys that if you're doing something to get in my head and get me irritated, it's real hard to get me irritated. Because I know that's why you're doing it. I'm not going to give you the satisfaction of getting me irritated. I know that's what you're trying to do, so whatever, guy."