After 50 fights and 12 years in the mixed martial arts business, Matt Hughes has seen and done it all. So when he spots something he doesn't like, he's the first guy to speak his mind. Hughes has commented in the past on how Strikeforce has treated his buddy Robbie Lawler. He did it again on Sunday morning following Lawler's knockout win over Melvin Manhoef.
"There's just a difference on how the fighters are treated," said Hughes, who has been fighting consistently in the UFC since 2001. "When we walked in the hotel there were a couple of people from Strikeforce in the lobby. By gosh, I don't fight for Strikeforce so don't worry about me [but] you would've thought they would've stood up and shook Robbie's hand but nobody did. It's little things like that. You just don't feel at home. The UFC wouldn't do that."
Hughes said it was even worse on fight night.
"There's two guys back in the lockerroom and it's been three hours since they fought. And they're still waiting for someone to come and stitch them up," Hughes said around 1 a.m. ET. He was referencing Joe Riggs and Jay Hieron, who were finished with their fight at roughly 9:35 p.m. ET. "It's the little things that are going to drive fighters away."
Hieron and his manager Ken Pavia did confirm that the fighter waited for three-plus hours in the lockerroom. They were quick to say it wasn't necessarily Strikeforce's fault, saying the Florida Commission had only two doctors on hand for the event. You can see in Cagewriter's video conversation that Hieron is still wiping blood from his eye three-plus hous after the fight.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said everything was smoothed over between Hughes, Lawler, manager Monte Cox and Strikeforce, but it doesn't sound like it's a dead issue.
- Matt Hughes