It’s no secret that former UFC welterweight belt holders Matt Hughes and Matt Serra are anything but friends.
The grudge dates back to the fourth season of The Ultimate Fighter when Hughes openly mocked Georges St. Pierre in front of the other cast members. The seed was planted in Serra’s head then and he let his thoughts on the welterweight champion be known right then and there, and they weren’t happy thoughts by any means.
Fast forward to the sixth edition of The Ultimate Fighter built around the grudge with Serra and Hughes acting as coaches and you will find countless lines drawn in the sand between the two leading up to tomorrow evening’s inevitable clash of personalities at UFC 98.
In the countdown to UFC 98 which was aired on Spike TV Hughes made it clear that in no way is he impressed by the outspoken Long Islander’s fighting resume.
“Years down the road they’re going to look at past champions, and they’re going to look at Matt Serra and say ‘who the heck is that guy’,” Hughes said during the broadcast.
“I wouldn’t rank him in the top ten welterweights in the world,” the Illinois farmboy went on to say. “He’d probably be lucky to make the top twenty.”
It’s not just Serra’s resume that Hughes isn’t impressed by, he’s not a huge fan of the dangerous grappler’s inability to bite his tongue either.
“It’s funny, when Matt Serra walks in the room you may not see him because he’s so short, but you’ll hear him because he just likes to run his mouth,” said the former two-time UFC welterweight champion.
“I’ve always said that there’s two types of people in this world,” continued Hughes. “There’s doers and there’s talkers. You’re not good at both. He’s obviously good at one of those two things.
“He’s scared and that’s why he’s talking as much as he is.”
As far as the game plan for Hughes is concerned, nothing less than complete and utter domination is on the agenda. It’s time for the sultan of slam to get back to his roots, causing damage.
“I’m going to go out there and be the aggressor,” explained Hughes. “He’s going to be on defense the whole time. I’m going to do what I want the whole time.”
What’s next for Hughes after the bout with Serra is the question on many minds heading into UFC 98. Win or lose, what will the future UFC Hall of Famer do with himself at the conclusion of Saturday evening’s bout with Serra?
“I think I could walk away from Matt Hughes the fighter and be Matt Hughes the farmer, the family man, the coach,” confessed the veteran of fifty professional fights against the best competition the world has to offer.
“After this Serra fight we’ll just see what happens,” concluded Hughes.
I have a strong suspicion that we may be in for an extremely emotional post-fight interview with Joe Rogan and Hughes at UFC 98 one way or the other. Sometimes you don’t realize what you have in this sport until it’s gone.