Matt Hughes Q&A: GSP ‘can really do whatever he wants’

Friday, March 15, 2013

The other most dominant welterweight in UFC history spent 30 minutes taking fan questions on a wide variety of topics at the UFC 158 weigh in Q&A.

UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes discusssed his current job as Vice President of Athlete Development and Government Relations, Saturday’s Georges St. Pierre vs. Nick Diaz headliner, and more.

“The wrestlers have the big advantage in this sport,” said Hughes. “If GSP’s going to stand, he’s going to stand. If he’s going to go to the ground, he’s going to go to the ground. So I think that’s going to be great for GSP to be able to control the fight – no doubt about it. I think Diaz is OK in the wrestling game, but you can’t compare it to GSP.”

“GSP is going to be the faster fighter. So if I was coaching GSP, I’d say, ‘If you feel comfortable on your feet, get in and throw some bigger punches. Then come back out, out of range, and do whatever you want. If you feel comfortable taking him down, take him down.'”

“If Georges wants to stand with him, all he has to worry about is two hands. He doesn’t have to worry about kicks or knees. He can really do whatever he wants. I don’t know what the game plan is, but Georges is going to be faster, and Georges is going to be able to control the takedown game. The advantage is to Georges because he’s going to be on top, and most judges see if you’re on top, you’re winning the fight. I don’t think I really see Diaz throwing an elbow to win the fight. Georges has a lot of good things going for him in the fight.”

“Diaz is in great shape, and this is the first time that Georges is probably going to be facing someone that’s in better shape than he is. So if I was Diaz, I’d push the fight and try to get in GSP’s mind: ‘Hey, I’m here to fight, and I’m going to try to take it to you.’ Diaz is going to want to brawl, so Georges needs to play a smart game and if he comes hard at him, just take him down. Don’t keep backpedaling.

“The fourth and fifth rounds could be very interesting because that could wear on GSP. ‘Is this guy really coming at me this hard? Is he going to have better cardio than me?’ It’s going to be really interesting in the later rounds.”

Transcription by MMAJunkie