â€œIt had been years since Pat and I had worked together, probably since I left the gym, which was right after â€œThe Ultimate Fighter 6â€ show in 2007.” Matt Hughes wrote in his blog for ESPN. The former UFC welterweight champ has returned to his roots to train with an MMA OG, Pat Miletich, for his UFC 135 fight in Colorado against Josh Koscheck (originally Diego Sanchez but he was forced to withdraw). Hughes has rejoined Team Miletich, but also added a new member to the team for this camp – BJ Penn.
“Pat and I have always stayed in contact and heâ€™s a brother of mine, thereâ€™s no doubt about that. So it was great to get my hands on him and wrestle with him, and the thing that wasnâ€™t so great were his quick jabs and his standup,â€ Matt Hughes explained about his mentor. â€œHeâ€™s got ferocious standup. And if you were wondering, Patâ€™s still got it, but heâ€™s got it in certain time slots. He would not go three five-minute rounds, but he can have a decent five minute go, take a few minutes off, then go again later. It was great getting back in there with him. I still knew what his strengths and his weaknesses were and where he didnâ€™t like to be and what made him uncomfortable, and Iâ€™m sure he knew what made me uncomfortable, but I was the guy who was in shape, so things kinda went my way a bit.â€
“A lot of people really raise an eyebrow when I say that [BJ has] been training with me, but they might not know that I went out to Hawaii and helped B.J .with his takedowns for (his fight with Jon) Fitch.” Hughes explained when the topic of Penn came up, who Hughes has fought against three times in his career. “Heâ€™s repaying the favor I did for him and I found out a lot about B.J. when I went out to Hawaii and started training with him. We are actually a lot alike personality wise, and sense of humor wise for sure.”
Will this be a permanent move for Hughes? Probably not, and it might also be a way of trying his old ways once more as Hughes nears closer to retiring after his storied career in the sport. UFC 135 will be September 24 from Denver, Colorado on pay-per-view. Really, this article is an excuse to just use this picture again.