When it comes to his June win over Ryan Pokryfky at Big Guns 24, heavyweight prospect Jeff Hughes didn’t have the best performance of his career, but considering circumstances heading into the bout, he is nonetheless pleased with the victory.
Circumstances leading up to the fight with Pokryfky, along with the bad taste of defeat lingering from his previous bout, had Hughes wanting a victory at any cost.
“I feel like it was a needed win,” Hughes told MMAWeekly.com. “I was coming off my first loss. I actually broke my foot about three weeks before the fight, so I knew I just had to go out there and win the fight no matter what, even though I knew I was injured.”
By his own admission, Hughes’ loss to Dan Spohn at IT Fight Series 48 last December was a blow to him, but he was able to work past it and get back on track.
“I took the loss pretty bad, actually,” said Hughes. “It kind of humbled me a little bit. I knew a loss was going to come sooner or later, but you’re never really ready for it. I got back on the horse and kept going”
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On November 3 in Houston, Texas, Hughes (7-1) goes for his first major MMA championship when he challenges title holder Richard Odoms (13-3) in the heavyweight main event of LFA 26.
“He’s a big, strong, guy with a lot of experience,” Hughes said of Odoms. “I have a lot of experience too, and I know how to beat big guys. I see it being a tough fight, but I see me coming out with a win.
With the top tier of the heavyweight division in need of an influx of new talent, Hughes believes he can make an impact quickly should he get an opportunity to do so in 2018.
“I’ve been a heavyweight pretty much my whole career, so I’ve seen the shift to where it was really bad then got really good, and is now kind of trailing down again, so I think they need some young talent there,” said Hughes.
“There are some young guys coming up, and I think I can be part of that wave making the heavyweight division more exciting and more explosive.”