May 29, 2008

It has been more than eight years since former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes and twin brother Mark have competed in mixed martial arts at the same event. That era, however, may soon come to an end.

Matt, in a pre-fight media conference call for UFC 85 on Thursday, was posed a question he didn't expect, that being about the possibility of his brother returning to the Octagon.

"This is an unexpected question," said Matt, the elder brother -- by five minutes -- of the Hughes twins. "I do know that Mark is going to sign a contract with the UFC where he won't compete for anybody else. And that'd be right here coming up. That's all I can really tell you. That's all I can really comment on,"

Mark sports a 6-2 professional record in MMA, including a win at UFC 28, but hasn't competed in nearly five years. Apparently poised for a return, Matt says that Mark doesn't have a fight lined up yet, but is adamant about his return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship, a place Matt has called home for several years.

"There's no fight scheduled (for Mark), but he is going to sign a contract with the UFC to fight for them and nobody else."

Of course, with the twin brothers under contract, the obvious question is if they will compete on an upcoming fight card together. On that issue, Matt was less certain.

While he indicated that he would like to fight on the same event as his brother, Matt said, "To be honest, we tried that in the past with the old owners and they just never went for it. But that's been six, seven years ago probably. So, we'll just see what comes out of it. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, it doesn't. Hopefully if it does, it'll be in the Midwest there somewhere."

With the sport now under sanctioning across most of the United States, including Illinois and Missouri, there has been speculation that the UFC will soon operate an event in either Chicago or St. Louis. So it appears that Matt's hopes of fighting in the Midwest, with his brother, has now become a distinct possibility.

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