GSP to fight Hughes for interim title

JOSE RODRIGUEZ -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 4:20 PM ET

Canadian Geoges St. Pierre's title shot is coming earlier than expected and against the wrong guy.

But the chisseled Montrealer isn't complaining.

Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran St. Pierrre will take on Matt Hughes Dec. 29 for the interim welterweight belt after champ Matt Serra was forced to withdraw from the fight after suffering a herniated disc in his lower back during training.

"I’m fighting Matt Hughes for the interim title right now, and then after that I’m going to go after Serra," said St.Pierre who took the belt from Hughes last year only to lose it to Serra in his first title defence.

UFC president Dana White announced the bout on the fight club's website. A press conference with the fighters is scheduled for today.

“I have the utmost respect for both Hughes and St-Pierre for stepping up for this fight, and not only are the fans going to see two of the greatest welterweights of all-time settle their score in a rubber match, but they're going to do it in a five round interim title fight, and the winner is going to face off next year against Matt Serra for the undisputed title,” said White on his website.

This will be third meeting between the two with each fighter winning once. Neither fight went the distance with Hughes submitting St. Pierre in the first round at UFC 50 and St. Pierre scoring a second round TKO over Hughes last November.

If Serra is unable to fight the winner of Hughes/St. Pierre within a year, he will be stripped of his belt and the interim winner will be the undisputed champ.

The fight will take place at UFC 79 in Vegas and the card will also feature a much-anticipated fight between Chuck Liddell and Brazilian powerhouse Wandelei Silva.

The sidelined Serra, who detests Hughes and has had bad blood with St. Pierre in the past, will be watching the fight with interest.

“I can’t believe the position this puts me in,” he said on the UFC website.

“I’m actually rooting for Matt Hughes so I can beat his ass.”


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