Matt Hughes is one of the smartest fighters in the UFC. He can speak to just about any subject in the sport and generally his message is pretty clear. So when he says a fighter looks smaller does he mean that the fighter stopped cheating or that he didn't worked as hard? Hughes and Cage Writer debated the issue of mixed messages after UFC 87 when the former welterweight champ said Georges St. Pierre looked smaller against Jon Fitch.
"I'm just saying he didn't prepare enough for that fight," Hughes told Cage Writer just before UFC 96. "After the fight he said, 'if I was fighting a Matt Hughes or a B.J. Penn, I would've trained a lot differently'. I'm not saying that Georges got off steroids or human growth, I'm just saying he didn't prepare enough for the fight. I think you could visually tell he didn't take the fight that serious."
Watch Hughes and Sean Sherk talk to Cage Writer about misperceptions and the performance enhancing drug testing process in MMA:
I missed GSP saying that he trained differently for Fitch. I also didn't see any difference between St. Pierre's physique from the Hughes' fights to UFC 87. Hughes said be careful before you put words into anyone's mouth when it comes to steroid accusations.
Now Penn didn't mince words when it came to talking about Sherk before their UFC 84 fight. He straight out said that Sherk cheated. Hughes said he believes that Sherk didn't cheat. Both indicated that they think the testing process is flawed and fighters have little rights to fight a positive test.
"I don't know what it's like with the other commissions but when I was going through my case with the California commission, I had no rights," Sherk told Cage Writer. "I was nothing. It blows my mind to think the commission would treat someone like that."
Sherk did submit blood work to prove his innocence and said he passed three lie detector tests. The CSAC eventually dropped his suspension from one year to six months. It's also interesting to hear Sherk say he has no ill will towards Penn for making his "cheating" a centerpiece of promotion before UFC 84.
- Matt Hughes
- Sean Sherk