The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Wednesday officially announced its Dec. 29 year-end event at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
The main event of UFC 79 features the first title defense of welterweight champion Matt Serra. He will square off against former champion Matt Hughes.
Serra and Hughes were both coaches on season six of “The Ultimate Fighter” and neither has gone to great lengths to hide their animosity for the other.
“As a person, I can’t stand Matt Hughes. I don’t like him at all, but I respect him as a fighter,” said Serra in a statement released by the UFC.
“You can’t deny what he has accomplished as a fighter, but he basically thinks my last fight was a fluke, like I don’t belong in there with him. I believe there’s one way Matt Hughes can beat me, but I can beat him several different ways, and I plan on beating him on all fronts.”
“To me, Serra is just another opponent,” Hughes stated. “He’s just another guy that likes to run his mouth. I think nine out of 10 times he loses to (Georges St-Pierre), so Serra did get lucky once, maybe. I think I have a lot more ways to win this fight than he does; I just need to watch out for those looping punches.”
“Serra wants to hold on to his title and Hughes wants it back,” said UFC president Dana White. “The show left little doubt about the dislike these two have for each other, and I think this is going to be an explosive fight.”
Other participants expected to participate as part of UFC 79, but not yet confirmed by the UFC, include Wanderlei Silva, BJ Penn, Dean Lister, Roan Carneiro, Doug Evan, and a bout between Rich Clementi and Melvin Guillard.