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Matt Hughes recovery from knee injury remains on schedule

Matt Hughes
Former welterweight champion Matt Hughes continues to monitor the health of his injured knee, hoping that it will return to normal on its own rather than undergoing a surgical procedure that could sideline him for months.

Hughes injured the MCL and the PCL in a technical knockout loss to Thiago Alves at UFC 85: "Bedlam" back in June. Since that time he has had several MRIs, X-rays and stress X-rays on the knee to determine the best course of action.

And everything appears to be going according to plan, which is great news for the aging former 170-pound division stalwart -- going under the knife would have likely delayed his return for several more months and possibly cast a dark cloud over the future of his professional fighting career.

As it stands as of yesterday, Hughes remains on track for an eventual return to action in early 2009, according to the blog on his official Web site.

Here’s the latest:

"Last Wednesday, I went in for my second MRI and also a stress x-ray. It all came back very positive and looks as though I will not need surgery. I still have to go back for my three month check-up to find out more; but as of right now I can do more and start exercising a little bit."

When he does return -- very possibly on the same card as Georges St. Pierre vs. BJ Penn on Superbowl weekend -- he will fight Matt Serra. Both veterans served as opposing coaches on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 6 and were supposed to fight in the main event at UFC 79: "Nemesis" for Serra’s welterweight crown.

The fight never materialized, however, because Serra was forced to withdraw from the bout with a severe back strain. Since that time the pair has kept the feud alive and well, exchanging frequent barbs and taunts through the media.

Let’s just hope this time around there are no additional setbacks. And if there are the two should be allowed to go their separate ways and pursue new and different opponents.