(The old dude at the top who hasn’t figured out the fist pose just wandered out from the sauna and got in the photo. Thankfully, he put his clothes on before he did. -photo courtesy of Matt-Hughes.com)
The former UFC welterweight champ, whose three-fight winning streak was snapped by a knockout at the hands of BJ Penn in his last fight also flew “The Prodigy” into Hillsboro, Illinois to help him get ready for the fight, which speaks to how seriously he’s taking his training.
In a recent blog he wrote for ESPN, Hughes detailed his decision to add the two legends to the mix for this camp.
Here’s what he had to say about reuniting with his old coach, Miletich:
“It had been years since Pat and I had worked together, probably since I left the gym, which was right after “The Ultimate Fighter 6” show in 2007. After that, me, Matt (Pena), Robbie (Lawler), and Marc Fiore — the coaches for my team — all came up with the gym concept. So it’s been that long for us, but Pat and I have always stayed in contact and he’s a brother of mine, there’s no doubt about that. So it was great to get my hands on him and wrestle with him, and the thing that wasn’t so great were his quick jabs and his standup,” Hughes explained. “He’s got ferocious standup. And if you were wondering, Pat’s still got it, but he’s got it in certain time slots. He would not go three five-minute rounds, but he can have a decent five minute go, take a few minutes off, then go again later. It was great getting back in there with him. I still knew what his strengths and his weaknesses were and where he didn’t like to be and what made him uncomfortable, and I’m sure he knew what made me uncomfortable, but I was the guy who was in shape, so things kinda went my way a bit.”
(“Remember when I told you it doesn’t make you my bitch if you ride on the back of my bike? I lied.”-photo courtesy of Matt-Hughes.com)
And here’s what he had to say about training with his old nemesis, Penn:
As far as working with B.J., who I fought three times over the years, a lot of people really raise an eyebrow when I say that he’s been training with me, but they might not know that I went out to Hawaii and helped B.J .with his takedowns for (his fight with Jon) Fitch. He’s repaying the favor I did for him and I found out a lot about B.J. when I went out to Hawaii and started training with him. We are actually a lot alike personality wise, and sense of humor wise for sure. We have a ball together and I’ve got to watch out for him because he’s quick-witted. My brother Mark is very quick-witted as well, so I’ve just gotta stay on my toes. He’ll catch me a couple times, because I’m a little naïve. But we really have a lot of fun together and we’ve found out a lot about each other since our third fight last year.
And it’s funny, but after working with both of them, I think B.J. and Robbie Lawler are a lot alike. Those two guys are extremely smart in dissecting opponents and seeing their tendencies, their weaknesses, and figuring out what they’re gonna do in a fight from watching tape. They’re very intelligent cornermen, trainers, and fighters, and it’s been important for me to have both of them around.”