Matt Hughes, UFC Vice President of Athletic Development and Government Relations or UFCVPADGR for short, just got back from a European summit on athletic development and in speaking with “MMAWeekly.com”, catches fans up on his job and a couple of other things.
Hughes acknowledges that he’s new to the job and learning while on it, but nonetheless, he wants to do his best to help fighters and is currently trying to come up with ideas to accomplish that goal.
The former UFC welterweight champion sees his first task as increasing fighter “financial awareness…let’s see if we can’t get these fighters some tax help right-off the gate when they get their check”, he statedand that he believes that putting their money directly into something, he was unclear on what the something was, but nonetheless, to get them tax help immediately and so that fighters could save more of their money, is a good idea.
Out of interest and in contrast, it would be interesting to see the advice that Matt would give a fighter who made 8 grand and that which he gave to a fighter who had made a million.
Another issue that seems to be on Matt’s mind is that of creating a “stress-free environment pre-fight” for fighters. As fighters generally have their pre-fight rituals, Hughes’s exploits in this area could prove interesting to follow.
As an off-the-cuff idea, perhaps Matt could meld the two ideas together into some kind of Spa / Tax consultancy backstage of the events.
On other issues, he believes that a hybrid version of himself and Robbie Lawler would be a great fighter and the guy that comes closest to that hybrid, is Johnny Hendricks.
The former champ said he still gets the itch to fight and that he “would love to fight anyone whose beat (him).” To that end, he specifically mentioned Koscheck and Penn and that “yeah” he’d fight them, however, at age 39 Hughes is unsure if the fans would want to see those fights.
“The UFC does very good at…they put fights on TV that people want to watch, so my personal agenda would be out of the question when it comes to puttin’ it on TV.”
Both ways, the gauntlet has been thrown down and Koscheck and Penn have an open invitation to fight the UFCVPADGR, should they wish and should Dana say… “What the heck, why not?”
Should Matt get a match with either (and it’s odd that GSP wasn’t on his list), it would be interesting to see how Hughes the fighter would react to Hughes the UFCVPADGR, in giving himself advice on his taxes and pre-fight stress relief.