What do you do when your long-time friend Chuck Liddell goes down and your main event goes up in smoke? Well, if you’re UFC President Dana White you call on another long-time friend in Matt Hughes to fill in. It was just announced via Matt Hughes’ official website that he will be headlining UFC 85 in London against Welterweight contender Thiago Alves. Hughes confirmed the fight by writing, “June 7th, in England, I fight Thiago Alves. The fight is confirmed”. The UFC didn’t stop there however, as later in the afternoon they also announced that Chris Leben will be taking on Englishman Michael Bisping.
Alves is coming off of a huge victory over Karo Parisyan at Ultimate Fight Night 13 back on April 2nd, while Hughes is coming off of a loss to current undisputed UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre at UFC 79 back in December.
Many expected Hughes’ next fight to be against Matt Serra but that fight will have to wait as Hughes may be working his way back up the Welterweight ladder for one more shot at St-Pierre. Though, the Serra fight is still going to happen according to Hughes as he wrote, “no matter what happens in this fight, I’ve got Serra next.”
Here’s what Matt Hughes wrote on his blog:
June 7th, in England, I fight Thiago Alves. The fight is confirmed, it will be the main event for the card. Dana just called me with the news. Chuck got hurt and couldn’t fight, so he needed a replacement and called me and I said yes. More news as I get it. No matter what happens in this fight, I’ve got Serra next. -matt
Michael Bisping is fresh off of an impressive victory in his debut in the middleweight division this past Saturday at UFC 83, where he beat Charles McCarthy, ultimately sending him into retirement. Chris Leban will be riding two consecutive wins into Bisping’s backyard, with his most recent victory coming against Alessio Sakara at UFC 82.
This may be a quick turnaround for Bisping, but it was hard to imaging that the UFC would have a promotion in London and not have the popular native on the card. Look for these two former Ultimate Fighter Show contestants to put on a show of their own.