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Matt Hughes: 'I want to fight for the middleweighttitle'

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Matt Hughes
Former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes (40-5) wants to reclaim his 170-pound title and then fight for the middleweight crown, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Here's a snip from Hughes:

"I want to get my (welterweight) belt back from Georges, then I want to fight for the middleweight title. I'd like to hold both belts at the same time. I'd be the first person in the UFC to do that."

Hughes lost his belt to Georges St. Pierre (13-1) via second round technical knockout at UFC 65 in November 2006. It is his only defeat since losing his title for the first time against BJ Penn (10-4-1) in January 2004.

This is not the first time that Hughes has mentioned his desire to challenge for the 185-pound title. Prior to the Rich Franklin-Anderson Silva showdown at UFC 64, Hughes revealed his interest in moving up a weight class should Silva win.

Here's a snip from Hughes' blog:

Sunday, October 8, 2006
Tomorrow I'm going to New York, Chuck and I will be on ESPN. Fly back tomorrow night. This week I'll spend Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning with my brother getting crops out and also trying to spend as much time with my family as I can. Thursday night, my wife and I leave for Las Vegas for the UFC. I hope Rich wins, but if Anderson wins I would consider bumping up to 185 and fighting him. I'll fly home Sunday.

Of course, Silva defeated Franklin. And one month later, St. Pierre beat Hughes. Therefore, there was no reason to bring up the potential match up between Hughes and Silva.

Until now.

According to a quote in the article, Hughes has about two years of fighting left in him. At 33 years old, he says, "It's getting harder each time to go train. I just want to stay home with [my wife] Audra, work on the farm and watch the kids grow up."

Perhaps there is a sense of urgency now that father time is ticking. Hughes is obviously looking forward to the rubbermatch with St. Pierre sometime this year — provided he can get past Chris Lytle (22-13-5) at UFC 68 on March 3, of course.

If he can get through those guys maybe we'll see Hughes one day challenge the middleweight champion for the title late this year or early next.

I wonder if he would fight a friend — like Franklin — to achieve the goals he has set for himself before calling it a career.