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11.25.2007 - 5:14:00 PM - UFC 79: Hughes vs GSP III

Matt Hughes (41-5 MMA, 15-3 UFC) broke the news yesterday that he was going to be fighting George St. Pierre (14-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) at UFC 79 for the interim title:

I'm going to fight Georges St. Pierre on December 29th. I've got a couple reasons why I've made this decision and I will share those at a later time. I've asked for this to be for an interim title and if Matt Serra can't fight in a year, then this would just be the title fight; but I don't know if that is going to happen right now. I will keep you all posted. -Matt

EDIT: This WILL BE for the interim title, so it will be a 5-round fight. -Matt

The UFC later confirmed this report via UFC.com:

In the UFC, when one door closes, another opens, and on December 29th, that adage will ring true once against when Matt Hughes battles Georges St-Pierre for the interim UFC Welterweight Championship in the main event of UFC 79: Nemesis, at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

St-Pierre replaces UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Serra, who was forced to withdraw from his bout with Hughes last week due to a herniated disc in his back.

I wasn't expecting this to come out of Serra's withdrawal. I don't think that Serra's a slouch by any means but on paper this is a much better match up. The UFC has stepped up in a big way with this matchup. The UFC brass could have easily selected an insequential fight to the undercard and just left it as is. Instead we get to see an interim title fight against two of the best fighters in the game right now. I was completely disappointed when I found out Serra had to pull out with all the TUF 6 hype leading up to the event but when they announced Hughes vs GSP III you really have to give credit to Hughes, GSP and the UFC where credit is due.

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