Matt is not the easiest guy for a guy like me to like. But as someone who values ground fighting uber alles, I found it impossible not to have respect for a guy who, born and raised in a singlet, was nevertheless putting the tap-out on quality opponents in mixed martial arts like no one else at the time.
I thought about this after watching his submission victory over Ricardo Almeida, and after reading post-fight remarks like this:
I don't want to be labeled as a guy looking for the Gracies. I've never asked to fight a Gracie, the UFC has always come to me with fighting the Gracies, Ricardo came to me. I don't want that. I've got too much respect for them to be labeled the 'Gracie Killer.Someone pointed out that in the last several years, Hughes has only lost to three guys: BJ Penn, Thiago Alves and GSP. It's worth keeping in mind the next time Mr. "Army of One" steps into the cage.
More coverage of UFC 117 and Matt Hughes at MMA Mania here.