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UFC 68: Matt Hughes vs. Chris Lytle??

Matt Hughes Chris Lytle at UFC 68
I gave this post two question marks because it's not just a rumor, but a puzzling one to boot.

Finding — or figuring out — the next opponent for Matt Hughes (40-5) has been a job in and of itself.

The former UFC welterweight champion has been linked to Georges St. Pierre (13-1), Diego Sanchez (17-0) and Karo Parisyan (16-4) — none of whom appear to have panned out. (Scroll toward the end of this post for a little more background).

Now, according to Greg Savage at — an extremely reliable source — Matt Hughes will fight Chris Lytle (22-13-5) at UFC 68 on March 3 in Columbus, Ohio.


It will be Hughes' first trip back to the Octagon since losing his belt to St. Pierre at UFC 65 on November 18. As for Lytle — who was slated to face Forrest Petz at UFC Fight Night 8 on January 25 until Petz pulled out — the showdown with Hughes will be his first test since losing to Matt Serra (7-4) in The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Finale on November 11.

I don't really get this match up, to be honest.

On the surface, it looks like a "tune up" or "confidence-boosting" fight for Hughes, who would be heavily favored to turn the "Lights Out." (How corny was that?)

But, does a 33-year-old nine-time UFC champion — one of the best 170 pounders in the world with nearly 50 mixed martial arts bouts under his cap — really need a tune up?

I don't think so; especially, when top talent in the division is also going to be in action the same night.

Indeed, rumored to be fighting — but not one another — at the Nationwide Arena on March 3 are Parisyan and fellow welterweight contender Jon Fitch (12-2).

In an odd twist, Savage has Fitch going up against Luigi Fioravanti (10-1), who up until this point has been rising in the UFC middleweight ranks.

Matt Hughes versus either Parisyan or Fitch would be a great match up. Parisyan versus Fitch would also be worth the $40 PPV price tag.

But, Hughes vs. Lytle just doesn't add up.

For what it's worth, I was looking forward to watching Hughes and Lytle fight again — just different opponents.

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