Matt Hughes: “If you want to fight the best Gracie, you need to fight Renzo”

Former UFC welterweight champion, Matt Hughes speaks about his upcoming battle with Gracie family legend and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master, Renzo Gracie.

Hughes, speaking via, said:

“I always thought about fighting Renzo, especially since he beat (former trainer) Pat Miletich, so there’s quite a bit of history between Renzo and I. We’ve known each other for years and we get along very well, but he has beaten my coach, and I’ve beaten his student (Matt Serra) and his cousin (Royce Gracie) that carries his last name. So I’m sure we’re both pretty eager to get in the ring and kinda show our dominance. The history is there for a good fight for the fans to watch.”

“I’ve always said that from the beginning – if you want to fight the best Gracie, you need to fight Renzo, and I still say that. He’s the best one carrying the name in my opinion. I think we know his tendencies, on his feet and on the ground. So my job is to go out there and impose my will and make him react to me, and not me react to him.”

“I don’t know how his body’s holding up – I would have no idea about that, but he’s got to feel confident, coming off his last three fights against UFC titleholders. So I think one of the things I’ve got to do is give him a good first round to where he goes back to his corner and starts to doubt being in the Octagon against me. I think I need to throw something at him quick to make him derail mentally.”

“It could be bad that I’m not gonna have crowd support, but the good thing is that I love going to somebody’s hometown and beating them there. Ever since wrestling in high school, it’s been something that I’ve really enjoyed. If you can beat somebody on their own turf, you can really pat yourself on the back a little bit.”

Hughes, on his future, said:

“I think it would be a little bit better for me if I fought two or three times a year. I would never let me body get out of shape and I would stay into it more. I plan on doing that after this fight – staying in shape, staying in contact with my coaches, like Matt Pena, and staying sharp on the pads, just so I don’t have to be in that rebuilding phase where you’re just getting your body back in shape and getting your timing back.”

“After I get done with this fight, Dana (White) or Lorenzo (Fertitta) will give me a call and we’ll figure out what we’re gonna do next. I’ve never really went to them and said ‘I want to fight him or him.’ That’s up to them.”

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