Former UFC welterweight champion and Hall of Famer Matt Hughes may have a lot of lifetime fans, but don’t count Dan Hardy among them.
The British born fighter first ran afoul of Hughes last year when the former champion posted pictures on Twitter of his latest hunting trip where he killed a bobcat. The pictures spurned a lot of responses both positive and negative for Hughes’ hunting for sport, and his response was pretty firm on how he felt about it all.
“Me and my brother love to shoot cats!” wrote Hughes on his Twitter page. “If you don’t like seeing dead animals, stop following me. I’m not even going to try and educate you PETA idiots.”
Hardy obviously fell on the side of the people that had a problem with Hughes’ hunting habits, and responded in kind.
“Look at what I killed. Aren’t I the man? This is the only thing I have found that cures my impotence,” Hardy wrote. “There is no justification for what he does. Shooting a wild cat for fun is a joke. I don’t have a problem for hunting if there is a purpose for it. I have never read anywhere being overran by bobcats though.”
Hardy went as far as asking UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta for a shot at Hughes when he returned to fighting in 2012, but now that he’s matched up with Duane “Bang” Ludwig at UFC 146, it’s obvious Hardy’s wish was not granted.
Still, Hardy would love to get a shot at Hughes before the longtime champion calls it a career, and judging by his recent comments, there’s no love lost.
“I would love to figure that out, that blood thirsty kill freak. I can’t stand the dude,” Hardy told MMAWeekly Radio recently.
Despite his extreme distaste for Hughes personally, Hardy point out that he respects what the former collegiate wrestler did with his MMA career. It’s hard to deny the multi-time welterweight champion his due credit for what he did in the cage, regardless of personal feelings.
“I’d love to get a shot at him, but the thing with Matt Hughes is I don’t like him as a person, but I can’t help but respect him as a fighter. He achieved a lot and I enjoyed watching him fight when he was at his peak,” said Hardy.
“As a person, I can’t stand him; I wouldn’t speak to him if I had the option. But I watch his fights and I learn from them.”
Hughes has said recently that he’s got maybe one fight left in his career, which has spanned more than 14 years. With that kind of timeline attached to Hughes, Hardy isn’t sure he’ll ever get the chance to face him, but it’s on his bucket list.
“The thing is, at this stage in his career, I know he’s past his peak. I know he’s not looked great in his last few fights, and maybe he’s kind of winding down,” said Hardy.
“I would love to fight him and, if he was willing to take the fight, I would by all means love to get in there and put it on him, but I’m not going to chase after the guy cause he has passed his peak and he may not want to a fight against someone who doesn’t like him as much as me.”