November 30, 2007
Hughes talking trash
By JOSE RODRIGUEZ -- Sun Media
Matt Hughes has no problem being the salt in Matt Serra's wound.
Hughes describes Serra, who was forced to withdraw from their Ultimate Fighting Championship title fight Dec. 29 due to injury, as a sub-par fighter who earned his title shot through a reality TV show and had one lucky scrap that made him champ.
Serra suffered two herniated disks in his lower back during training and Canadian Georges St. Pierre will now take his place at UFC 79: Nemesis at month's end.
"It's bad because I am fighting a lot tougher opponent than Matt Serra," said Hughes, a former champ who has amassed an impressive 44-5 record as a pro.
"There's such a difference in competition between Georges St. Pierre and Matt Serra. Like I said before, Georges knocks Matt Serra out nine out of 10 times."
Serra, who says his injury is so severe he needs his wife to help him put on his socks in the morning, won the belt from St. Pierre earlier this year after earning a title shot as a contestant in The Ultimate Fighter.
"You have to remember the reason he was on the reality show was because he couldn't make it in the UFC," says Hughes.
There has been bad blood brewing between the two since Serra took the title.
Serra has called Hughes smug, conceited, self-righteous and other names not fit for a family newspaper.
"I believe what he says about me is what he thinks about himself, I don't know if he realizes that," says Hughes, who coached against Serra in the latest installment of The Ultimate Fighter.
In the show, the venom between the two has become a highlight of the series with each taking turns at belittling the other as the cameras roll.
Their dislike for each other was to culminate in the Dec. 29 showdown.
Hughes says he fears he may never get his shot at Serra inside the cage.
"If Matt Serra loses his next fight, he will probably lose his next and then be out of the UFC," says the 34-year-old.
"If I don't fight him soon, I probably won't get to fight him at all."
The Hughes/St.Pierre fight will be for the interim welterweight title and will take place at Mandalay Bay in Vegas.
If Serra's unable to fight within a reasonable period of time, he'll be stripped of the belt and forced to fight his way back up the ranks.
* St. Pierre will have no shortage of qualified training partners for his upcoming fight. The Montrealer says he is training with Pride vet Denis Kang, Nate Marquardt, David Loiseau and light-heavyweight contender Keith Jardine.
* Josh Koscheck, coming off a loss to St. Pierre in August, will take on Dustin Hazelett at UFC 82 in March.
* Mike ‘Quick' Swick will make his welterweight debut against Josh Burkman at UFC Fight Night 12 on Jan. 23. The former middleweight contender dropped down to the 170 lbs. division following a loss to Yushin Okami. The fight will air free on Spike TV.
* London, Ont. lightweight powerhouse Sam Stout will take on Swedish fighter Per Eklund at UFC 80 in Newcastle, England.
* This will likely be the best fight card to get the least amount of headlines. World Extreme Cagefighting is holding a triple title card Dec. 12 at the Hard Rock in Vegas. Featherweight champ Urijah Faber will put his belt on the line against Jeff Curran; Middleweight champ Paulo Filho will take on Chael Sonnen, and light heavyweight belt holder Doug Marshall will defend his title against Ariel Gandulla
* The debut this week of Canoe TV (www.canoe.tv) should be of special interest to fight fans. The portal will feature material from The Fight Network which carries reams of mixed-martial-arts.
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