Former UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Hughes has left Miletich Fighting Systems, the team that helped develop him into a champion and the fighter he is today. The most dominant welterweight in UFC history plans on starting a gym in southern Illinois that would be closer to his home.
"From what Matt told me, he was offered a good financial deal to do it," revealed Pat Miletich. "Also, he's away from his family a lot so he wanted to be closer to Hillsborough, Ill., which is close to St. Louis [where the new gym is expected to be located].
"I don't blame him. He's been training up here 8-9 years. It's not easy being away from your family all the time, so I don't blame him. I wish him good luck and hope it goes well for him. We had a lot of good years. I'm sad to see him go."
Alongside Matt Hughes, "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler has left the Miletich camp to help the former champion in his new venture.
"I think Rob was offered a financial deal to train there. I wouldn't blame Rob for taking the money either; something he feels is wise for his family. Whatever people think is best for them; I'm going to support them. That's just the way it is. Obviously I'm sad to see him go. Rob's been with me since he was, I think, sixteen. That's the natural progression. Sometimes certain people get to the point where they feel it's time to leave the nest; do things on their own. I have no problem with that. That's the way it goes. I don't run a cult, you know what I mean?"
Lawler is currently preparing at MFS for his fight against Chute Boxe's Mauricio "Ninja" Rua at the next EliteXC on Sept. 15 in Hawaii. "Rob's here training for 'Ninja' right now. Rob asked if he could train here and I said of course," stated Miletich.
Matt Hughes looks to reclaim his welterweight belt at UFC 79 when he takes on Matt "The Terror" Serra. Hughes lost the title when he was stopped by George St-Pierre with strikes back in November of last year. Since then, the Illinois resident has rebounded with a win over Chris Lytle at UFC 68.
In the first defense of his new belt, Georges St-Pierre was defeated by Ultimate Fighter 4 winner Matt Serra in one of the biggest upsets in UFC history. Shortly after, UFC President Dana White announced that Serra and Hughes would be the new coaches on the next installment of The Ultimate Fighter and would face each other after the end of the televised season.
its not like he left on bad terms...I'm sure during his training for fights he'll still train with Pat. I think its a better decision for him in the long run anyway. The constant travelling from Illinois to Iowa and back must suck. The new gym is closer to home where he can focus more. He's got a great team of guys already that will be working with him. And when he finally retires from the sport he can remain a coach and make money that way.
Pat said himself that he makes way more owning a gym and coaching a team than he ever did as a fighter. I also think that Pat will still be Hughes' manager for his own fights. When it comes to Team Hughes fighters i think Hughes is taking that responsibility.
other interesting MMA news is that basically today is the "do or die" day for Fedor signing with the UFC. Fedor's manager said that today would be "the" meeting with the UFC and if negotiations can't be worked out by the end of it then Fedor remains a free agent. They did say that out of all the organizations that want Fedor, the UFC has offered the best deal for him. But apparently Fedor & Co. still want more. Not so much in terms of money for Fedor but the garauntee that other Red Devil Fighters will get UFC fights, Fedor can still compete in Combat Sambo tournaments, and that the UFC will host an event in St. Petersburg.