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Hughes confirms UFC 68 fight; Denies rumors he ducked St.Pierre

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In a fresh blog entry, former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes denies rumors that he pulled out of the planned rubbermatch with Georges St. Pierre (13-1) at UFC 69 on April 7.

Here's a snip:

"I was told that my rematch with Georges in April was called off because he wanted more than two months to prepare. I know there are a lot of rumors being spread around the internet and if people want to believe that I dropped out, then that's fine with me. I don't feel that I need to defend myself every time someone posts a rumor on the internet."

The statement above contradicts what his manager, Monte Cox, told Loretta Hunt at FightNetwork.com less than three weeks ago:

"After discussing the future with Matt, it was agreed that it would be in his best interests to take a fight in between a rematch with St. Pierre. This way, he would have more time to train specific skills that would give him a better chance at winning back the title."

Dana White even went on the record and said that Matt, "wanted to wait."

Regardless, at this point all the he-said, she-said is moot.

That's because Hughes confirms that he will fight at UFC 68 on March 3. And it won't be against the man he wants to fight, Diego Sanchez, who according to Hughes, is being groomed for a showdown with St. Pierre.

Here's the rest of his entry:

The UFC says that I'm fighting on March 3rd, but I don't know who yet. I asked for Diego, but they want to save him for a title shot. I am glad to be fighting in Ohio, this way people from around here, who can't really afford to fly out to Vegas or California, will be able to watch one of my fights. So I look forward to a lot of local support.

Even though Hughes says he does not know his opponent, welterweight contender Karo Parisyan (16-4) is also slated to fight the same night in Columbus.

And, there's just not too many other welterweights — besides Josh Koscheck (8-1) and Jon Fitch (12-2) — who are talented enough to hang with Hughes at 170.

There's just one thing I don't get. If Hughes wants to fight Sanchez, and Sanchez wants to fight Hughes, why don't Sanchez and Hughes fight?

It's probably because after Matt Serra, there just isn't anyone besides Sanchez and Hughes who have earned a shot at St. Pierre.

Not like Serra has truly earned that right, either, but you get the idea.

However it falls, we're still going to be in store for some great welterweight fights in 2007.

We'll keep you updated.