Matt Hughes recently spoke to MMA FanHouse about a variety of topics including his dislike for Matt Serra, problems with Rashad Evans, Chuck Liddell and much more. It’s a great interview, and you can check it out in its entirety by clicking here. Here are some excerpts:
How much do you dislike Matt Serra personally?
Before the show I really didn’t dislike him. I didn’t care about him. But after watching the show, seeing the things he said and did, yeah, I definitely have a dislike for him now, just because he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. And when he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, he still talks like he does. I have a dislike for him because of what he said and did on The Ultimate Fighter.
What’s your opinion of him as a fighter? What are his strengths and weaknesses?
He’s obviously got a tough ground game. There’s no doubt about that. He’s got power in his hands. He knocked Georges St. Pierre down. He’s fairly strong and physically he has some strength. But I don’t see him catching me on the ground with a submission, and in everything except that I think I’m better than he is. I think I’m stronger than he is, I think I have better cardio than he does, I obviously have more experience than he has. I think I’ll be heavier when it comes to fight time. I think I’ll have a reach advantage when we’re on our feet. And the big key is I think my wrestling is really going to far outweigh any wrestling he can do. I think my wrestling is going to be a pretty key part of the fight.
Another person you had a little bit of an Ultimate Fighter rivalry with was Rashad Evans. He’ll be defending the light heavyweight title against Lyoto Machida in the main event at UFC 98. What is your opinion of Rashad now?
Well, what I had a problem with on the show was not Rashad as a fighter. It was just his showboating and his antics in the ring. Outside the ring, Rashad and I get along fine, and we have ever since the show. Inside the ring, I’m just not the guy who dances around and does stuff like that. I don’t have a problem with Rashad, but I’m not the type of guy to grab my crotch like he did (against Forrest Griffin). But as far as a fighter, he’s doing great and I think he’s got a tough fight coming up.
Do you think Liddell is done?
I don’t think so. Chuck is still dangerous to anybody. Anybody that thinks that if Chuck Liddell hits them they won’t go down is wrong. Chuck is a threat to anybody. As a friend I hope he doesn’t leave the sport for two reasons: No. 1, I like him and I like watching him. No. 2, I still think he’s good enough to do some serious damage to people.
I know you were critical on your web site of the main event at UFC 98. You weren’t too impressed with Anderson Silva?
Well, I think Anderson has all the tools to be one of the most exciting fighters out there. Maybe he’s just cautious or doesn’t care what he looks like out there, I don’t know, but he looked like he doesn’t have that drive to finish people. I definitely think Anderson could have given it a little effort to try to finish the fight. I’ve never been one of those fighters who just tries to win a decision.
You’ve talked about maybe moving up to middleweight. Do you think there’s any chance we’ll see you fight Anderson Silva?
I don’t know. Right now fighting Serra is all that’s on my mind. I’m not even thinking about fighting Anderson Silva. He’s not who I’m thinking about. As of right now, no thoughts of moving up to face Anderson.
If you beat Serra, how close do you think you are to a shot at the welterweight title against the winner of the Georges St. Pierre-Thiago Alves fight at UFC 100?
Well, if I beat Serra — and I obviously think I will — and Thiago wins I’d love to get a rematch with Thiago. I think that fight could have gone differently if my knee hadn’t gone out, so I’d love to rematch Thiago. To be honest, I didn’t like the way the last GSP fight went either, so I’d love to rematch GSP. But all I’m worrying about right now is Matt Serra. So where ever winning that fight puts me is fine, but I’ve just got Matt Serra on my mind right now.
Having fought both Thiago and Georges, what’s your opinion of their upcoming fight? Who has the advantage?
I think GSP has the advantage. I think the striking will be pretty competitive, maybe Thiago will have an edge there, I don’t know. The wrestling I think goes to GSP. I think he’ll be able to take Thiago down, and I think the ground work will go to GSP as well. I think it could be a close fight or it could be someone getting knocked out in the first round. The fight could go either way. Sometimes two guys like that could have a great fight or sometimes it could be a stalemate. Let’s hope it’s not like that and let’s hope both guys try to finish, and it’s an exciting fight.
How much longer do you want to fight?
I’ve got a two-and-a-half-year-old girl and seven- and nine-year-old boys. I don’t want to be fighting forever. I want to make sure my little girl knows who her dad is growing up. So my fights are numbered, but I could not tell you how many fights I’m going to have left.
For the full interview at MMA FanHouse, click here.