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Matt Hughes Picks GSP To Beat Diaz, Would Beat Anderson

UFC Hall of Fame fighter Matt Hughes was asked about a little upcoming fight you may have heard about between Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz. Hughes not only thinks GSP will win, but also thinks his former rival would take care of The Spider.

Former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes knows Georges St-Pierre pretty well. Hughes has fought GSP more than anyone else. As a matter of a fact, he even handed one of GSP’s only two losses in MMA. That is why I tend to give Hughes a lot more credibility in breaking down the fights of someone he spent over twenty minutes of time with in competition.

The UFC offers their fan club members an opportunity to speak to a UFC star over the weekend at a UFC live event. Matt Hughes drew that duty at UFC 132 and answered a variety of questions from fans at the UFC 132 Q & A. I don’t think anyone should be surprised that Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz was a hot topic at the Q & A.

Add Matt to the list of just about everyone that thinks GSP is beating Nick Diaz.

Against Diaz, I think he’s (St-Pierre) gonna do real good. This will be the first time that he’s gonna be facing somebody that will be in better shape than he is. Diaz is in great shape and that will be the only thing I think Diaz is gonna have an edge on is the shape. But GSP is not gonna wear out. I think Striking, submissions and ground work, he’s gonna win every one of them,” Hughes said. “I think the only thing, Diaz is so different with his striking. Maybe he’s gonna land something like he did against Robbie Lawler that one time that’s gonna kinda come out of left field, but I see GSP winning. To take that a step further, I think if he fights Anderson Silva, if GSP has his head screwed on straight, I see him winning that fight as well.

The prognostication on a potential Georges St-Pierre vs. Anderson Silva fight is a very interesting one. I love GSP but I think Anderson would dominate him. My prediction is based more on size than actual technique. Silva reportedly walks around at 210-220. GSP is going to have to work hard just to put on the necessary weight to move up to middleweight. I just think that Silva is going to be too big for GSP to throw around and smother on the ground with his ground and pound style.

While that may sound like glowing praise, Hughes did offer a poignant critique of St-Pierre. Hughes doesn’t believe that GSP has the “eye of the tiger” so to speak. Hughes thinks that GSP has gotten a little too caught up in his own hype and with a little focus, could be even better. Hughes thinks that GSP is more interested in “defending the belt” as opposed to his mentality of “winning a new belt” every time he fought as champion.

I think mentally is where GSP would have a weak spot (speaking of the Diaz fight). I think he maybe does go in where he has the attitude where he’s the champ right now, he’s making good money and he sees maybe that loss would put a little blunder there. I really think that if he got over that…When I was champion, I stepped into my rematches or my title defenses as not, I didn’t want to lose my belt, but I was gonna go in and win a new belt. So that was my mentality every time I had a defense, it was, ‘I’m gonna win a new belt.’ Not, ‘I’m defending my belt.’ He’s defending his belt.

Hughes certainly has his own critics but if there is anyone that knows what he is talking about, it is him. Hughes was a beast in his prime as UFC welterweight champion. I was a big fan and what I loved the most was that killer mentality he had when he stepped into the octagon. Matt Hughes currently holds the record for most wins in the UFC with 18. Hughes has also fought in twelve UFC championship matches.

As for GSP, it certainly makes a lot of sense. Remember when GSP stepped into the octagon and would just rock his opponents with strikes? Sometimes I get the impression that GSP uses most of his fights to test or improve his wrestling which is fine, it just doesn’t make for exciting fights for casual MMA fans. I do think that Diaz has the kind of personality to really get under St-Pierre’s skin and bring out the monster in him. Josh Koscheck certainly did a good job of that and had a rearranged face to show for it.

Hughes went 1-1 on his UFC 132 picks. Hughes picked Bader and Leben on his blog.

Thanks to CagePotato.com for the tip!

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric’s work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

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