This weekend I will be hanging out at my buddy’s house watching UFC 123. This event will include the rubber match between long time stand out fighters Matt Hughes & Baby J (BJ) Penn. These two guys have ruled their weight classes throughout most of the past 10 years. And although both have shown the signs of wear and tear in the recent past, both are hoping to prove that they aren’t finished with the fight game.
I’m interested in a comment made by former 9 time UFC Welterweight Champ Hughes at a recent pre-UFC 123 press conference. Matt joked, “One more paycheck this year will make my wife happy and get her off my back.” And from one rural community country guy to another, I just had to laugh.
Matt Hughes is an interesting guy. Did you know that he holds a win over every single champion that the UFC Welterweight division has ever had, other than his long time friend and former coach Pat Miletich. That is impressive.
You know, Matt has been a pretty good provider for his family over the years as well. That’s what makes his comment cause me to chuckle. There is no telling what kind of money he has made with his 43 -7 career record. He’s fought in the main event on multiple occasions for the UFC. He holds the record for most wins in the UFC and is tied with Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell at 23 for the most fights in the UFC.
Hughes owns his own gym (The H.I.T. Squad) in Granite City, Illinois with long time friend and Strikeforce fighter Ruthless Robbie Lawler. He leads his own fight camp called Team Hughes as well. And rumor has it that he spends a lot of time working hard on the family farm.
So here is why I’m writing this. In a sport that is sometimes misrepresented as a bunch of brute bad boys who have moved their fight from the bar room to the octagon, its nice to see a champion with a wife, 4 kids and a job. Seriously, this is a guy who stays strong because he works hard, takes his kids to church and provides for his family. I like that.
I mean, I don’t know Matt Hughes. But he seems like a guy that would make a good dad, husband and friend. And I know that he’s not always a fan favorite. He can be cocky at times. He would probably admit that.
But hey, he’s living the life that most people don’t work hard enough or stay focused enough to live.
Good job Matt… and good luck. I hope your wife gets that win bonus.