When something ain't broke, it's hard to fix.

Despite this, Monte Cox has tried his best to get Matt Hughes to train more for title defenses. But the UFC welterweight champ's camp of late, which will include with two full months of preparations for his November 21 defense against Frank Trigg, may have been spurred by the fact that Hughes is finally irked enough to bring "The Full Ruckus" into the Octagon.

"I bug the guy all the time to train," Cox told Maxfighting. "I called him up before his second fight with Carlos Newton and asked him to get into the gym. It's just a couple weeks before the fight. He says, 'I've got to put a roof on my brother's house, but don't worry, I'll be there.' I told him, 'Matt, do you think Carlos is roofing right now?'"

In Hughes' defense, roofing does involve some repetitive cardio training; in the end he dominated Newton en route to a one-sided stoppage.

God knows what the champion could do if he were running a jackhammer.

"People said he trained two weeks for Sherk, but I swear I only saw him in the gym for like three days," Cox said. "So he had three days in Iowa, and then maybe a couple days in Vegas to get ready. Call it six days."

It's an incongruous concept -- the most dominant champion in the sport who trains sparingly. Hughes, who has always maintained that his full-time job of farming is as strenuous as anything in the gym can bring, may be right. And he may be genetically gifted because his twin brother Mark is a few pounds bigger but looks nearly the same.

"We always joke that if you could be either one of them, I'd be Mark," Cox said. "He doesn't do anything and he's still in shape."

All that has changed with the champion's upcoming fifth defense against Frank Trigg, the powerhouse who has made no bones about how he's going to take it to Hughes and walk away with the championship belt.

"Matt is currently in Salt Lake City, and he's training hard. He's running at altitude and getting into serious shape way before the fight. He'll have two full months when he goes in against Trigg," Cox said. "We sat down before the fight and agreed that we don't want to just win this one. We want to destroy Trigg, inside of two rounds. Winning won't be enough."

A title shot was offered to Pete Spratt, conqueror of Robbie Lawler, but Spratt declined. Dennis Hallman was in the wings for a shot against Nick Diaz and a hopeful third match with Hughes, whom he was beaten twice, but Hallman lost a close decision to Drew Fickett in August at King of The Cage. Contenders Karo Parisyan and Nick Diaz still need another win or two before being viable, marketable contenders.

In fact, according to Cox, Jason Black of Team Miletich might be the next logical opponent for Hughes after Trigg.

"It's something we'll have to deal with when we come to it," he said.

With a dwindling pool of yesterday's challengers, Hughes sits atop a division he has established an iron rule over, with dissenters beaten handily.

"People are asking if Matt will move up in weight, but there's no point in that. If you were the best salesman at a company and breaking records and doing the best anyone had ever done, would you change jobs?" Cox said. "He's going to stay at 170."

The best challenge that currently exists for Hughes is the ongoing grappling rivalry with training partner Jeremy Horn.

"They're the only two guys in camp who can [tap] one another," Cox said. "I think it's like three times year they get one another. And if Matt falls behind, watch out!"

It's lonely in the ring with Hughes. He gets on top of people and dominates them with sheer physical strength, and a wrestling pedigree that brooks no upstarts. Try pushing him away with a hip kick from guard, a la Gil Castillo, and he springs right back on you as though you were a child. Against Sherk, he showed a new confidence to go for submissions and a strong bottom game. It all adds up to a champion rounding out an increasingly robust skill set.

But it's all precursors to the same old story -- wrestling people silly en route to the ground-and-pound.

He can hang on his back, and strike adequately enough from his feet; Hughes uses everything to distill the fight into a wrestling match in the end. It's just how he likes it, and what he was born to do.

He doesn't plan on falling behind against Trigg. He wants to punish him, bad, and Trigg's the kind of fighter who'll come gunning for him. But with the kind of win he's planning to deliver, he could inspire more fighters to take up roofing, as a training aid -- or maybe a full-time vocation.

For comments E-mail


lol i am sure he trains technique. I am sure this was more gym time and road work. Lol I know he works out almost everydau with the Militich guys.


Master of Arts
May 26, 2002
Reaction score
Rody Piper Would Have Been Proud.

Huges Did Great


Yep he definitly out wrestled Trigg even though he gave up that first takedown. And that excact slam that he used on Trigg put one of my guys out at the takedown tournament.