During a recent interview on "The MMA Hour," John Hackelman said that former light heavyweight champion, Chuck Liddell, and current division kingpin, Jon Jones, were too different to be compared.
Sure, they both ruled the 205-pound weight class with an iron fist during their respective runs, which Jones is still currently enjoying.
But that's pretty much where the comparisons end, according to Hackelman, Chuck's longtime trainer, who said that Chuck was loved more by fans during his run when compared to John.
Not that it's a knock against "Bones," it's just the way he views it.
"I do (think Chuck had more love from fans). I think a lot of that has to do with Jon's age. He's a lot younger. They're different. It took a long time for Chuck to grow on people. They're different minded. Chuck is just a warrior all the time and sometimes he didn't always think 'What's best for me?' He always thought, 'I want to bang.' People like that. They relate to that and they like that, and Chuck loved his fans. I think it's just different. They're different fighters, different skill sets, different set of fans."
See an example of their different mindset, here.
Hackelman, however, is adamant that he doesn't mean any disrespect to Jones -- whom he labeled a "great warrior" and an "unbelievable athlete" -- he just simply says you can't compare both men.
And during a recent interview (video above) with MMA Weekly, Jones echoed Hackelman's' sentiments, saying that he isn't Chuck Liddell, or like any other former UFC champion, for that matter, he's just simply himself.
'Yeah, I saw John Hackelman's comments and I think he felt maybe I was trying to offend his program or Glover, which I wasn't. It was all based around me looking past Glover, something that I'm not doing. I'm not going to sit here and insult John, I respect him a lot, as a coach, I think he's one of the best in the business. That's why I'm training so hard for this fight, that's how much respect I have for him and Glover. As far as my likability compared to Chuck's, I'm not Chuck Liddell. 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 and I don't try to compare myself to guys like Chuck or any other champion. I figure as long as I break records and keep doing my part, that's all that matters."
Two different eras, two different beasts.
Indeed, the level of popularity that Jones and Liddell enjoyed are vastly different. Nevertheless, one can't deny the effect both men have had on mixed martial arts (MMA).
They've each had a major impact on the sport, they've just taken different routes.