Last month, Ronda Rousey drew some controversy for a number of remarks she made about wrestling fans and the business in general, using the word "fake" to describe the sport and accusing fans of being ungrateful. While this earned the former Raw Women's Champion rebukes from WWE superstars and viewers alike, one of her fellow UFC Hall of Famers recently came to her defense and said that he understands why she made such scathing comments.
During his appearance on the Wrestling Inc. Daily Podcast on Friday, Chuck Liddell explained that Rousey "took it pretty hard" when fans began to turn on her during her 2018 Survivor Series match against Charlotte Flair. While the post-match segment between both women was supposed to establish Flair as a vicious heel and build sympathy for Rousey, the former UFC women's bantamweight champion got the opposite reaction, as fans booed her and chanted "you deserve it" as she got beaten down.
Regarding the comments Rousey made in April, which many people believed was merely a setup for her return to the squared circle as a WWE superstar, Liddell told Wrestling Inc. that he isn't sure whether his fellow MMA icon will compete once again in a wrestling ring. "The Iceman" also stressed that he didn't see anything offensive in Rousey's supposedly anti-pro wrestling rants.
"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."
Although he suggested that people may have overreacted to Rousey's "articulate" takedown of wrestling fans and "fake fights," Liddell said that he doesn't believe she was trying to put the business down in the way some individuals believe she was. He then acknowledged that he doesn't consider professional wrestling to be fake, adding that he has a lot of respect for the performers who put their bodies on the line "week in and week out" in order to entertain audiences.
Liddell's interview with Wrestling Inc. was not the first time recently that he addressed the issue in question. Earlier this week, he spoke to the U.K. publication Daily Express, offering similar insights about the situation and positing that Rousey's main issue was with those who think WWE matches are as "real" as the unscripted bouts that take place in UFC and other MMA promotions.