Luke Thomas: Before we started with Josh Koscheck and there's a lot to get to there, I want to back up just a step. It seems like your relationship with your former rival, B.J. Penn, has really blossomed. How would you characterize your relationship today with B.J. Penn.
Matt Hughes: Well, obviously we have a very good relationship. I'm not real surprised you led off with this topic. Everybody seems to kind of wonder. B.J. and I had three fights together. There's not gonna be a fourth fight so there's really no reason for us not to get along.
LT: The UFC 135 countdown special aired last night on Spike TV and one of the things they noted was that you had sold your gym, The H.I.T. Squad to be closer to your family and there's been reports that you've been training with Jeremy Horn at Salt Lake City and even your old coach Pat Miletich. How did you come full circle from being with Miletich, becoming a champion, going out on your own and getting back there. Who reached out? I know you kept the relationship with Jeremy Horn but have you always kept up your relationship with Pat Miletich?
MH: Yeah, Pat and I, of course we're both busy and we do more texting than we do talking but I said, "Hey, I'm having a training camp in Hillsboro. Are you free in that week to come down?" and he said, "Yeah, I can come down for three days." It was very good. It was the first time we'd trained in quite a few years. Pat and I are like brothers, no doubt about it. If Pat would ever need anything, he'd call me up at 3 o'clock in the morning, need me to drive him somewhere, I'd do it and I'm sure he'd do the same thing for me for sure.
LT: Was your camp like old times. Is it the same people, but a new feel? Contrast the way the camp is now to the way it was to the height of the MFS days.
MH: Well, back when Miletich had his big camp up there and there were quite a few world champions that would walk in the door every day and there's a bunch of guys up there, it was a meat market. If someone new walked in the gym, they were probably gonna get beat up pretty bad. Us core guys were kinda the ones doing the beating. It's not that way anymore. I've gotten older, a little more mature and I don't beat up on people like I used to when they step in the gym. Jeremy's out here in Salt Lake City. He moved away first. I moved away after Jeremy did so all us getting back together for this fight was a good thing. We had a lot of fun together.
LT: If I'm overreaching, by all means correct me, but if you go out and win dominatingly, you'll decide, "Hey, this is something I want to continue doing at age 37," but if you don't and things don't necessarily go your way, you might reevaluate potential retirement. Have I accurately characterized the situation?
MH: Somewhat. I really don't think it matters if I win or if I lose. I think after this fight, I'll go to the UFC and I've already expressed my concerns about not fighting into my 40s so I think we'll look at this and if they've got a position open in the UFC, I might switch gears and stop competing and do something else for the UFC. It really won't depend on if I win or lose. It will depend on what me and the UFC want to do afterwards.
LT: What would you like to do for the UFC? Perfect world, you can write your own job, what would it be?
MH: There's been a couple times where I went to state legislature and talked to them about the safety of the sport and trying to get it legalized in the state. I know New York is the big state right now where they're having a hard time getting it legalized there so if they had a job where I could go around doing some talking from a fighter's standpoint, I'd love to do that. I'd love to help the UFC in any way they can get it legalized all throughout the country and that would mean travelling to New York or anywhere else in the world to help them be global.