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As Long As Punking Matt Hughes Is The Thing To Do, Paul Daley Refuses To Be Left Out


(Paul Daley shows off a completely different kind of punch face.)

There was a time when fighting Matt Hughes meant signing up to get slammed through the mat before being mercilessly pounded on and dominated in a way that makes even tough guys want to go cry in the shower.  Now, instead of being a feared force in the UFC’s welterweight division, he’s the guy everyone wants to fight, preferably soon, before anyone else has a chance to put a beating on him and claim whatever is left of the Hughes luster.  It’s not enough of an indignity for a former champ to have every 170-pounder at AKA putting his name in the streets, now Paul Daley is doing it too:

“I want to fight Hughes, firstly because he’s a legend and second he’s former welterweight champion. He has a win over the current welterweight champion, and he has all the skills to exploit my weaknesses that the media and my ‘fans’ so often talk about. …I want Hughes, I don’t see why he wouldn’t want to fight me, unless he thinks he’s gonna lose.”

First of all, Daley’s two reasons for wanting a fight with Hughes are really one reason: Matt Hughes has a big name.  But he does have a point when he says that Hughes has the tools to help us find out if Daley’s ground game is truly as weak as advertised.  At least, the old Hughes had those tools. 

But Daley-Hughes is the fight that makes the most sense, which is the really sad thing about it.  A little less than three years ago Hughes was known for being the most dominant champ in UFC history.  Now a fight with any other top ten welterweight kind of feels like a mismatch.  That may not be as bad as the series of knockouts that helped land Chuck Liddell in angry tango-land, but it’s still depressing in a different way.  It’s sort of like watching Metallica come out with increasingly mediocre albums, as opposed to watching Weezer fall off all at once.

Chances are that Daley will get his wish and the UFC will put him up against Hughes.  Then at the very least we’ll find out whether “Semtex” has a better takedown defense than Matt Serra.  We might also find out whether Hughes is still high enough on the welterweight ladder that a fight with one of the AKA boys will be inevitable.  He claims he “has no interest” in fighting Josh Koscheck, even after getting called out on live TV.  Makes you wonder what he is interested in doing.  Doesn’t sound like it’s fighting.

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just some dong- September 30, 2009 at 9:39 am
Also left unsaid that the fight would be easy for the UFC to bill as "champ v. champ" and that Condit is actually dangerous off his back, unlike Serra (see: just about any of his WEC bouts).

just some dong- September 30, 2009 at 9:37 am
Come on Sheps, admit that you're a little bias in wanting to see your countryman fight a legend. Personally, I see that fight as being boring and predictable - Hughes would just turn it into a wrestling match. But Condit v. Hughes makes sense to me right now. Saying that "nobody knows who he is" is just wrong, because both fighters have big names here in the states, and they're both generally regarded as studs. Condit may be off to a rough start in the UFC, but Kampmann's no joke, especially now at 170 (when he actually bothers to employ MMA strategy, that is) and Carlos made that fight into a war. Also, his ability to survive and persevere in his last fight, when he was getting absolutely mauled by unexpected power shots in the first, impressed the shit out of me. That's a fucking warrior right there. And since Hughes seems bound and determined not to accept any fight against anyone in the UFC's WW top 10, Joe S. might as well see if he'd agree to take on Condit. I think he might, based solely on the fact that A) Condit IS a name, and B) he seems potentially vulnerable right now. Regardless of the outcome, we fans would learn a lot about where both men stand if they were to battle it out.
LAS- September 30, 2009 at 6:50 am
Daley seems to have forgotten the total ground clinic Nick "I just got my shit tossed by Dan Hornbuckle" Thompson put him through back in February. One has to believe Hughes wrestling is at least at Thompson's level still.

I don't see the point in matching Daley with Hughes though, because Hughes stands to gain nothing from it, and if Daley loses, it's a pretty big setback for him.
Mike Milbury- September 30, 2009 at 6:43 am
Not that I care all that much for Hughes, but what's up with all these call-outs? It's just basically screaming "I, like 99% of the current UFC roster, can't draw for shit, so I'm going to piggyback off Hughes because GSP will hand my ass to me". And outside of their fighting skills, there is not one redeeming quality to the three AKA WW stooges.
ktronics- September 29, 2009 at 10:32 pm
@Sheps

Condit also smashed someone in between those two fights you mention. Can't remember who but he dominated him for a UD.
LBo- September 29, 2009 at 9:54 pm
Matt Hughes should respond by calling out Matt Serra or Shonie Carter.

Or he should agree to fight Josh Koscheck, but only in a big card as far in the future as possible.
And then fake a last-min injury and take a Hollywood movie deal. Maybe playing Little Mac in an MMA adaptation of Mike Tyson's Punch-Out, opposite Rampage Jackson.
Sheps- September 29, 2009 at 9:50 pm
I gotta disagree, a win over Huges would be huge, whatchatalking 'bout?!

Taking a fight against Hughes has much better chance for positive outcomes than negatives. If you win, you beat a huge name in the sport and maybe it was due to a fact that he was past it, but if Hughes can do that shit to Royce Gracie, it can be done to him as well.

Whereas if you lose, you lost to a legend, thats how it was suppose to happen, no biggie. Fighting an old legend is generally safer than fighting a up and commer. Especially Hughes because he's coming off of a win and has only lost to the two best fighters in his division.

Also Condit Vs Hughes would be a crappy fight for both men. Beating Condit means nothing, yeah he was a champ in the WEC but he's a chump in the UFC, he lost his first fight and he should have lost his second fight but won a bullshit decision. If Hughes lost to Condit it'd be like he'd lost to a complete nobody, because thats what Condit is in the UFC. Whereas no one would give a shit if Condit beat Hughes because no one knows who he is.
Walrus- September 29, 2009 at 9:38 pm
I don't see the point in calling out someone who is completeley irrelevant to your would-be-success.

Actually, you're putting more on the line.

Say by some freak-chance Hughes wrecks Swick (or whoever). That opponent's reputation is tarnished.

I think these younger guys should focus on more relevant, and more succesful fighters -- knocking out Hughes is definately not getting you anywhere, and if by chance you lose -- then you have made one terrible, terrible mistake.
Squirrelnuts- September 29, 2009 at 8:35 pm
Pffft, Death Magnetic was a fucking great album.
just some dong- September 29, 2009 at 8:03 pm
I'd like to see Hughes v. Condit. Both are former champs in their respective orgz, and I think both would have something to gain from the win.

A win for Hughes would make him seem somewhat relevant again, since Condit's no joke (even though he's off to a rough start in the UFC). For Condit, felling a legend like Hughes would put him back on track.
Bovice- September 29, 2009 at 7:01 pm
@Viva Hate

Thanks for typing exactly what I was thinking.
Viva Hate- September 29, 2009 at 6:44 pm
Time for Hughes to hang it up, once you become the guy to call out to boost your career, its over.
cagefightmon- September 29, 2009 at 6:32 pm
Never cared for Hughes but how about calling out someone who isn't washed up. Say. . . . . Muhammed Ali??
for the love of mma- September 29, 2009 at 6:27 pm
hughes is like chuck at this point. predictable and non-explosive in his technique and holding on to past glory
Hamma Fist Elbow Bam-Bam- September 29, 2009 at 6:09 pm
I know why he switched to southpaw, I just think the strategy backfired. At least before there was a token threat of him punching you -- now all you have to do is sprawl like hell and you're pretty much safe.
danomite- September 29, 2009 at 5:54 pm
I think Daley has the word "fan" confused with the word "critic". and by "critic" i think he means anybody who has ever seen his ground skills.

and Hughes switched to southpaw because St. pierre destroyed him on the feet in their second fight and he realized that his only chance of winning the rubber match was taking it to the ground, so he felt southpaw stance gave him the best chance to take St.Pierre down. I think leaving Militech to form the HIT squad was the main reason for his poor performances recently. and his age, did I say his age was a factor? he's getting old
Harry Russo- September 29, 2009 at 5:10 pm
Hughes would take Daley down and beat his ass, but at this point Hughes has no reason to take a risk be a stepping stone for up and comers. He will most likely fight Hallman again.
Hamma Fist Elbow Bam-Bam- September 29, 2009 at 5:06 pm
Anyone else think Hughes start looking super shitty right around the time he started fighting southpaw? He was never a striker, but he was starting to look increasingly okay on his feet until he switched, and now his strikes are non-existent.
Sheps- September 29, 2009 at 5:03 pm
AHahahhaa poor Hughes. I bet he remembers the day he was the man that was calling out the old guys like Royce, not anymore!

As much as I love my countrymen fighters but Daley would get trashed by Hughes wrestling. Does he not realize that the one strength Hughes has left is something he can not defend with his terrible lack of skill on the ground.

I predict Daley moves to AKA to start his UFC training.
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