When former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight champion Matt Hughes announced he’d be open to coming out of retirement for another fight, fellow mixed martial arts (MMA) legend Royce Gracie wasted no time in campaigning for the fight. However, one former UFC fighter believes that Hughes should earn his money in his return to the cage and fight someone other than a 50-year-old who is way past his prime.
“I saw this interview with Matt Hughes where he was talking about coming back, if he could find a fight that he thought he could win,” said Swick during a recent appearance on Bloody Elbow’s Three Amigos Podcast. “All fingers were pointing to Royce Gracie, and obviously now it’s a little bit more open that he’s pursuing this fight with Royce Gracie, and I couldn’t resist. I am trying every single angle I can to get that fight because I don’t want to fight anyone else. I honestly don’t. But Matt Hughes is somebody that I wanted to fight in the prime of my career, when he was a champion. I fought on the undercard — I was co-main event of the fight when he fought Gracie the first time [at UFC 60 in 2006]. We fought at the same time, I was a contender and he was the champion, and we were relevant at the same time.”
Swick, 37, announced his retirement from MMA in 2015 after losing to Alex Garcia via unanimous decision back at UFC 189. Before that, “Quick” was inactive for nearly three years due to injury. In total, Swick compiled a 10-5 UFC record from 2005-2015.
“He wants to fight a 50-year-old Gracie now,” continued Swick. “And so I had to step in, and I’m doing everything in my power to get this fight. I’ve always wanted the fight, and I don’t think he should fight Gracie. I think Gracie’s done enough, he’s a legend, he can live his life and have a good time. If Matt Hughes wants to fight, and he wants some money and he wants to have a fight again, then I think he should earn it, and I think he should fight me. I’ll come back and I’ll take that fight in a second. So, I’m doing everything in my power to get this fight. He’s ignoring all of my attempts — I’ve been on Twitter, I’ve been on Instagram, and we’re about to follow up with some more stuff — I am literally trying everything I can to get that fight.”
At this point, Hughes could fight a bag of doorknobs and fight fans would be interested to see what the 43-year-old legend has to offer. But if Hughes was to fight Swick instead of Gracie, he’d probably have to show up in even better shape to escape with a win.