Matt Hughes: A gateway to today’s MMA

nullWhen I think of Matt Hughes, I am reminded of quote from the classic movie Old School.

“I hate your guts, but damn do I respect you.”

I have never been a fan of the UFC Hall of Famer and former welterweight champion.

He has always been overly critical of other fighters while failing to evolve with the sport himself, in my opinion.

However, as he took to the octagon for perhaps the final time at UFC 135, I have to admit, I felt a little conflicted.

Though Hughes is not even a top 10 welterweight in my eyes, but his accomplishments are undeniable.

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Jon Fitch is mad as hell and doesn’t want to take it anymore

Jon Fitch has been a No. 1 contender for a long time, but a title fight doesn’t appear to be in his future.

A lengthy recovery from an injury has caused the UFC veteran to be lost in the mix in the UFC welterweight division.

As you can see in the video, Fitch is not happy about being passed up for many of the big fights in the division and he is ready to do something about it.

Fitch has some good points. The guy has one loss in 15 UFC fights, and that was to current champ, Georges St. Pierre.

He is coming off a draw against B.J. Penn, but had that been a five-round fight, it appeared that Fitch was well on his way to another win.

Despite his lack of finishes, Fitch is still one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world and he deserves more respect than he is getting.


Top 10 Welterweight Rankings

nullThis week’s rankings turn to the welterweight division.

It has been a busy couple of months in this division as two of the top 10 suffered losses since my last 170-pound rankings came out.

So, without further ado, here are my top 10 in this division.

1. Georges St. Pierre (22-2) – St. Pierre successfully defeated Jake Shields, but did so by decision. His performance wasn’t great, but it was still enough to end a lengthy win streak by Shields. Instead of moving up to middleweight, St. Pierre will now take on Nick Diaz at UFC 137 in October.

2. Jon Fitch (23-3-1) – Fitch is coming off shoulder surgery and is targeting a return in late 2011. He was originally pushing for a title fight, but is now looking toward a rematch with B.J. Penn. With the UFC implementing five-round main events for non-title fights, Fitch would seem to have the edge there as he got stronger as the first fight with Penn went on.

3. Josh Koscheck (15-5) – Koscheck has been on the shelf for a few months now as he recovers from a broken orbital bone. Koscheck should return in late 2011, and hopefully he can continue to show some solid skills when he gets back. A powerful striker and wrestler, Koscheck has the skills to win it all if he can do the little things to put together the whole package.

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Jon Fitch wants to fight the best, nothing less

nullJon Fitch is tired of the days of facing lesser opponents.

After Rick Story called out Fitch following his win over Thiago Alves at UFC 130, Fitch has made it clear that he wants just one of two possible fights in an interview with

“I’m at a point in my career where I need to be fighting main events and main event fighters,” Fitch told “And if you don’t have a belt, currently, or you haven’t owned a belt in the UFC, I’m not really interested.”

“I’ve gone out of my way throughout my career to just fight everybody they put in front of me and it’s cost me dearly. When you fight somebody who no one knows and don’t recognize their name, it doesn’t matter how bad you beat them.

“I kind of had a talk with Rashad Evans during the expo up in Canada. (It) kind of opened up my eyes to it a little bit. He was telling me I (have to) stop screwing around, I have to think about my career, and I’m a main event fighter. I should only be fighting main event people.”

“I want BJ or GSP. Those are the only two guys I care (to fight) or have any interest in right now. If I (have to) sit out a year and wait for them, I’ll do it. That’s what I’m waiting to fight for.”

Fitch is currently out until late 2011 after shoulder surgery, but the 23-3-1 veteran of the UFC has a point. He has faced a number of unknown opponents during his UFC run and went through them all.

Fitch is a big enough name that he can demand top fights and not many people are going to argue. Still, the UFC doesn’t seem keen on giving him another bout with St. Pierre after GSP beat him up for five rounds in their first meeting.


UFC eying returns to Montreal, Abu Dhabi in 2011

nullThe UFC is quickly filling out its dance card for the rest of 2011 and it appears that there will be two stops coming outside the U.S. to end the year.

Mike Chiappetta of is reporting that the UFC is looking into possible events in Montreal and Abu Dhabi for December of this year.

Sources with knowledge of the situation said there is “a good chance” the company returns to the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, likely in December, but that nothing is confirmed.

The promotion had been expected to host a show there in March before venue issues nixed the idea. Because there are no indoor arenas and the region has a hot climate, the timing of athletic events requires extra consideration. December through February is historically the coolest month in Abu Dhabi, with daytime high temperatures averaging around 80 degrees.

A December return engagement would bookend a rapidly filling 2011 calendar, as events have already been scheduled late into the year. On Thursday, UFC director of Canadian operations Tom Wright told Montreal radio station The Team 990 that the company could return to the city’s Bell Centre in December.

Rumors are swirling that Georges St. Pierre could face Nick Diaz at the event in Montreal, which would make three-straight events that the welterweight champion would be fighting in Canada.

As far as Abu Dhabi goes, the last time the UFC appeared there was UFC 112 where Anderson Silva had his embarrassing showing against Demian Maia and Frankie Edgar upset B.J. Penn for the first time to win the lightweight championship.