Originally Posted by Matt Hughes
Matt Hughes’ TUF Blog – Week Four
By Matt Hughes
I wasn’t happy after last week’s fight between Billy Miles and John Kolosci because I really felt that Billy didn’t go out there and perform like he should have. I think Billy’s a lot better than what he showed. Plus, team wise, we needed the victory, and more importantly, Billy needed that victory for himself to show the UFC that he’s a competitor in this sport. So he didn’t do anybody any favors by going out there and not being able to show everybody what he’s really got.
So my work was cut out for me this week and I had to get down to the business of motivating this team to get back on track. As a coach, I know everybody’s different, so motivating is different for everybody. You can’t go out there and do just one thing and expect everybody to be motivated, so I really have to see who’s coming up for a fight and really work on that person and get him mentally prepared. So that’s the strategy I took – I’ve got to try and motivate everybody, but at the same time, whoever’s got the fight coming up, I really have to specialize on him.
People ask me how you develop the ability to motivate, and for me, it comes from being around other coaches and understanding people. I like to listen to people and I like to figure them out. And knowing their personality and their background helps too. If I can figure out what type of personality somebody has, I can usually figure out how to motivate them - whether that’s yelling at him, constructive criticism, or just letting them feel confident that they’re gonna be the better fighter out there.
I was surprised and happy at the same time when Matt Serra chose the fight between Richie Hightower and our fighter, Blake Bowman. I just didn’t think that was a high percentage fight for Hightower to win and I felt like Blake had a real shot at him. From the two hours I got to see him (Hightower) at the evaluations, I just thought it was a good matchup, and if Blake had to get somebody, I was hopeful it was going to be against Hightower. He (Serra) could have put George (Sotiropoulos) against Blake, and I think it would have been a big mismatch and George would have gotten an easy coast into the next round.”
Blake wasn’t the most
experienced fighter in the house, but I really believe that if Blake’s knee wouldn’t have gone out on him, I think that would have been a very competitive match, especially if it hit the ground, which is where Blake’s specialty lies. And I’ve got to admit that at the time I really questioned the knee until he went to the doctor and the doctor said ‘yes, he’s got a messed up knee.’ He ended up getting surgery on it. But if his knee hadn’t gone out, I think he had a good chance of winning that fight.
The big drama on this week’s show centered on Dorian’s altercation with the cameraman. Dorian went out there, lost his first match, and of course he’s frustrated. He came here to win this show, and on one side of me, I’m like ‘Hey Dorian, you’ve got to show these cameramen respect or at least ignore them and make like they’re not even there,’ and on the other hand, I’m kinda happy that he’s showing that he came on this show to give it 100%. His frustration is telling me that he’s not happy with where he ended up on this show and that he’s gonna keep on working and be a better fighter in the end.
It’s a competitor’s attitude, something I respect since I don’t like to lose. I don’t care if it’s chess, checkers, or throwing spitballs. And usually, if I’m not gonna win, I won’t play. It’s as easy as that. If I don’t think I’m gonna beat you, why play? Growing up with my twin brother has taught me that being competitive is just about everything.
So you know I hate being down 3 to 1, but I also know that I get to pick the next fight, Matt Serra gets to pick the fight after that, then the second to last fight I pick, and the remaining two will fight each other. So in my mind, I’m not out of it.