While Matt Hughes is coming off of a huge victory over Matt Serra at UFC 98: Evans vs. Machida last month, his H.I.T. Squad teammate and training partner Robbie Lawler suffered a setback last weekend, losing to Jake Shields via submission in the first round. Hughes spoke to Rod Moyer of FightLine.com during the Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields post-fight press conference about Lawler’s performance.
“Robbie knows exactly what mistakes he made and so we’re gonna go back, watch the tapes, and see exactly what happened,” Hughes stated. “It happened so quick on the opposite side of the cage, so I didn’t get to see exactly what happened as fast as it happened, but that’s how this sport is. Robbie put a few mistakes together, when you put those small mistakes together, bad things can happen, or if you put a big mistake down, someone can capitalize on that as well.”
Hughes also talked about his fighting style, noting that he likes to break people mentally before finishing them physically.
“I’ve always told people that this sport is 50% mental, and 50% physical,” Hughes explained. “People just don’t realize the mental aspect of thing. That’s why I always go out there and give my opponents a very tough first round, because a lot of time I can break them in the first round, and when they’re sitting in their corner, they’ll give up. After you break them mentally, beating them physically is quite a bit easier.”
“We do a lot of preparation mentally, and that’s long hard practices,” Hughes continued. “After a hard practice, we’ll go sit in the sauna for a little while, and let them sit and think about things. So there’s a lot of tricks to the trade to sharpen people’s mental ability, so you just have to go through it and keep working mentally to keep people stronger.”
As for what keeps the former two-time UFC Welterweight Champion motivated, Hughes noted that not holding the title is one of the things that keeps him going.
“I’m not the champion right now, and that’s a motivating factor,” he admitted. “Another motivating factor is that I’ve got kids. And my kids, they will watch my tapes some day, my DVD’s, so my good performances will be something they will watch down the road, and my bad performances they will see as well, so that’s very motivating to me.”
“My gym is very motivating for me, and my small community [motivates me]. I’m from a town of about 5000 people, and I love my community. And I got a lot of backing from my community, so I fight for a lot of reasons. And probably one of the smaller ones, actually, is me.”
You can watch the full video of our interview with Matt Hughes, where he also talks about how Lawler’s loss was a minor one and the fighters that they like to avoid, below: