Hughes gave an inspirational speech to his fighters on the latest episode of The Ultimate Fighter, pleading with them to lay it all on the line in the Octagon.
The result was another disappointment for Team Hughes.
With Matt Serra now controlling the fight selection for the finals, all Team Hughes has to fight for is pride.
Week Six of the show featured what looked to be an exciting matchup between George Sotiropoulos (Team Serra) and Jared Rollins (Team Hughes). It didn't live up to the hype.
Round One began with the two fighters feeling each other out, and neither seemed willing to take control. As I watched the action unfold, I wondered out loud whether either of them really wanted to be there.
Rollins and Sotiropoulos exchanged light jabs before Sotiroploulos finally landed a few solid shots to send his opponent to the mat. A quick stoppage put an end to a lackluster performance by both fighters.
When it was over, I found myself thinking about Matt Hughes and his team. I'm not sure what the problem is—but in general I'm seeing what looks like a lack of desire from his fighters.
For a fighter to finally get a chance at a dream and then not even try to dictate the pace of a fight is mind-boggling to me. Hughes is asking his fighters to leave it all on the mat. That's not happening.
As I see it, it's better to be remembered as a fighter who fought hard and lost than as a fighter who held back and still lost—especially when you've only got one shot on national television.
Hughes' fighters need to remember that the UFC is about entertainment. If the fight isn't entertaining, no one will remember who won.
Maybe it's the inexperience of the fighters that's creating nerves, or the presence of the TV cameras and crew. In any event, I'm hoping the semifinals will have some better competition.
Until then, keep your hands up and your chin down...