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More UFC Reality Programming?

(I gotta say, I don’t see a series here.)

The word from Dave Meltzer (via MMA Payout) is that the UFC plans to do more reality TV in the future, and while Meltzer is sketchy on details, he claims that Matt Hughes will be involved “in a big way.”

Maybe this was something the UFC talked about before Hughes’ recent loss to Alves. Maybe it’s an idea that has since been scrapped. But adding more reality TV would already be tenuous prospect, and the chances for failure only become greater if it’s a reality show that revolves around Hughes.

I say this for two reasons: 1) Hughes is less of a draw now than at any time in the past five years, plus he’s coming off two losses and is no longer relevant to the UFC’s welterweight title picture, and 2) Reality TV is not a good medium for Matt Hughes.

Hughes used to be the UFC’s humble all-American farmboy. After his appearances on “The Ultimate Fighter”, however, he came off more like the cocky jerk who gets taught a lesson in the end of a teen sports movie. That is, when he’s not handing out Bibles and asking people to identify which character represents him (always a good use of practice time).

During his last appearance on the show, when he spent much of the season getting mad at Matt Serra and unsuccessfully trying to motivate his fighters with physical punishment, he largely dispelled that humble farmboy persona, and likely lost a lot of his fan base in the process. A new reality show might attempt to hype his grudge match with Serra, but that would only tell us that the UFC doesn’t think the fight is a big enough sell on its own.

Hughes is at his best when his personality can be more carefully crafted by editing. Back when all we saw of him was training montages, body slams, and brief interview clips, he seemed like a great guy. When the camera watched impassively as he tried to bust Georges St. Pierre‘s chops and ply junior high school psychology on Serra, he seemed much less so.

I can see why the UFC thinks more reality programming is the way to go. It’s cheap, it’s naturally conducive to sports, and the format of their current reality show has obviously gone stale. But why Matt Hughes? Why not some exciting up-and-comer? Why not someone who can be both genuine and likable at the same time, like Forrest Griffin?

Reality programming has proved its usefulness in the fight business. When done well — such as with HBO’s 24/7 series — it can even help sell a fight. But if the UFC is looking to do more reality TV, I can only hope they look toward their future and not their past.



Cagepotato Comments

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Patrick- June 14, 2008 at 8:36 am
Everybody should respect Matt Hughes for everything he did for the sport of mixed martial arts !!!
He's the greatest Welter Weight in my book !

I'll be a fan forever
Anonymous- June 13, 2008 at 6:05 pm
Lol @ Twist

and about the show, I'll watch. Hughes is from Illinois (as am I) and use to teach wrestleing at EIU, where my brother attends. So, there's a small amount of pride I get when I watch Matt Hughes fight.

However, I am no country boy; i'm from Chicago.
TENNESSEAN- June 12, 2008 at 9:48 pm
MattyP- June 12, 2008 at 1:27 pm
A reality show featuring Matt Hughes? If he conflates guns and Jesus one more time, I think that McCain is going to have to denounce and reject him.

However, if the UFC is serious about this, I have an idea: Human Hunt with Hughes. In this show, Matt Hughes and his gang of Christo-fascist Holy Rollers are flown to an uninhabited desert island. (If the island isn't uninhabited before Hughes and Co. arrive, it shouldn't take long for them to clear out any stragglers.) On this island will also be a whiny, secular liberal who will have mini American flags strapped to the bottom of his shoes so he cannot help but trample on Old Glory. Does the Country Boy have the mettle to defend America from those Constitution-waving fairies? Tune in and find out...
JMas- June 12, 2008 at 1:24 pm
The look some much alike its scary, something out of like a pod creature movies
GREG- June 12, 2008 at 12:37 pm
LukeTheDuke- June 12, 2008 at 10:59 am
Yo, Carhartt is where its at.
sol- June 12, 2008 at 8:09 am
@ted Nutmeg- Im kinda on the same as "The Truth" everytime i think of Matt Hughes i see the verbal tap and just think of the vindication "you want me to teach you the armbar defense?" AHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA
Ted Nutmeg- June 12, 2008 at 4:27 am
Ben Fowlkes' anti-Matt Hughes bias has gone beyond tiresome. Fowlkes hates Hughes - we get it. 10-4. Loud and clear. Really Ben, you could not have more exhuastively stated your case against Hughes. Now you're just repetitively Hughes-bashing, transparently indulging your glee at the opportunity to kick him while he's down. Which I suppose you're entitled to do, inasmuch as you are employed to write for this website. And I must admit that I don't know what it's like to stare at the computer screen trying to come up with a new post for Cage Potato. I would venture that in desperate moments a re-hash of your "Hughes is a bad person" theme seems mighty attractive. It practically writes itself, after all. But boy is it boring.
The Truth- June 12, 2008 at 3:51 am
His verbal tap to the ref in the GSP fight is easily my favorite MMA moment. That shit was right outta Bloodsport - MAAA-TTTEEE
teachbug- June 12, 2008 at 2:59 am
take your meds, you ramble to much.
we get it...we fucking got it 20 lines ago.
here let me help you......
YOU dont like matt hughes......there ya go, see how easy that was?
well newsflash I dont like him either.

viktor- June 12, 2008 at 2:24 am
More reality TV for the UFC?
Boy, really couldnt see that coming, could we?

Hughes annoys me as much as those retired american athletes who become 'preachers', I use the term loosely, and start their own church/business based on on the fact that when they were in rehab, the only book around was the bible in the nightstand.

I dont mind religious people, nor do I mind assholes who like beating the crap out of people. I just dont like the latter pretending to the first group. As my friends uncle Raoul says "My god and his god never met".

The same goes for douchebags who join the army. Say you want to kill some people, be up front, I can respect that. You like the adrenaline rush, youre a danger junkie, squeezing a trigger and taking someones life from hundred of feet away thrills you.
Fine. Embrace who you are. Get as far away from me as you possibly can. I have no qualms at what needs to be done to keep an empire, whether it is roman, british, turkish, nazi, american, spanish, etc. we dont interfere in peoples lives, created, destroy countries because we care. We do it to maintain our empires might. The brits ruled over all those asian, african and indian savaget for king and conutry, some claim its for freedom and democracy.
Its the assholes who have to justify their bloodlust by saying how theyre doing it to protect their country that I have trouble wtih. Fuck that, Even the nazis could have said that. No one ever sees themselves as the invader. That's the kind of stuff you say to make yourself feel good, get some skanky army base town pussy and giving meaning to your life.
Those assholes annoy me.

Matt Hughes is that kind of asshole.
OneHump- June 12, 2008 at 1:00 am
Matt Hughes is a cocky bible thumping hillbilly with the charisma of a day old turd. The only reason to watch a Matt Hughes fight is the exceptional joy that comes from watching him take a switch knee to the face.
Twist- June 11, 2008 at 10:31 pm
For some reason Matt having a twin is just weird enough to seem unreal. The twin should be lanky and some kind of computer guy not have a similar stature where he could step in and fight for Matt if Matt died, like from a gunshot to the back of the head...accidently.

Is the Twin Hughes reality show Dana's big announcement?
lolwut- June 11, 2008 at 9:47 pm
how cute they are with there matching carhartt jackets. fukin rednecks lol