St. Pierre-Hughes 3? Not So Fast
By Loretta Hunt
Just twenty-four hours after announcing that newly-crowned UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre would defend his title in his native Montreal on April 7 against the man he'd just wrested the belt from, UFC president Dana White wasn't so sure the mega match would happen then himself.
"I'm hearing word back that [Matt] Hughes might want to wait," White told the press Wednesday following the highly-successful UFC Fight Night, held at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California.
In the last week, the word has become more definitive.
"After discussing the future with Matt, it was agreed that it would be in his best interests to take a fight in between a rematch with St. Pierre," Hughes' longtime manager Monte Cox said this morning. "This way, he would have more time to train specific skills that would give him a better chance at winning back the title."
Cox said Hughes would prefer to fight on March 3's UFC 68 card in Columbus, Ohio, a bit closer to his Illinois farm roots, then take the rubber match with St. Pierre at a later time. Champion St. Pierre is scheduled to face "The Ultimate Fighter" season four winner Matt Serra at UFC 67 in Las Vegas on Feb. 3.
"We're going to Montreal in April no matter what," reinforced White of the promotion's Northern debut, suggesting last week that Hughes could match up with undefeated welterweight contender Diego Sanchez next.
Hughes' manager Cox acknowledged that talks are still ongoing. Both White and St. Pierre were initially unavailable for comment today.