Bones has message for John Hackleman: 'I'm not Chuck Liddell'

Steve Snowden

Former trainer to Chuck Liddell, and current trainer of top contender Glover Teixeira, John Hackleman put himself in the spotlight with his criticism of UFC champion Jon Jones. Now, Jones is responding.

When The Pit head trainer John Hackleman theorized about Jon Jones "that's maybe why, you know, people don't love him like they did Chuck," he may not have meant to put himself in the cross hairs, but that's just what he's done. Building up to UFC 172 and the bout between Jon Jones and Chuck Liddell training partner Glover Teixeira, the conversation has shifted to a potential war of words between a fighter and his opponents coach. But, it's a war that Jones is quick to dismiss. Speaking at a media scrum at Jackson's MMA, Jones told media members (transcript via Damon Martin and Fox Sports):

"I think the whole thing was based around me looking over Glover Teixeira, something that I'm not doing. I'm not going to sit here and insult John (Hackleman), I respect him a lot as a coach, I actually think he's one of the best in the business. That's why I'm training so hard for this fight because of how much respect I have for Glover and his coach," Jones said.

"As far as my likeability compared to Chuck, I'm not Chuck Liddell. I'm just me. I'm shamelessly me. I'm really proud of what I've been able to do in my career. I don't try to compare myself to Chuck or any other champion. I figure as long as long as I'm breaking records and doing my part, that's all that matters."

Jones also had kind words for Ronda Rousey, making it clear that past comparisons he's drawn between him and her, and the increased media push she's gotten, were not meant as a slight.

"Ronda's actually inspired me to get into my acting a little bit more in my off season. She's really been an inspiration to me the way she trains really hard, stays on top of her MMA game and she actually works on her acting with her acting coaches and then she goes and does this role. She stays very active. I respect that a lot about her and I think it's something I'm going to focus on a little bit more in my future."

Essentially it's Jones in his normal mode of trying to smooth things over later, stemming from off the cuff statements he's made in the past. He also talked about Phil Davis and Davis' profile in the light heavyweight division. Basically, kind words all around from the champ.

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