In just a few days, Team Hughes will be making its debut. However, Corey Hill, The Ultimate Fighter 5 standout, has decided not to join the squad consisting of former UFC welterweight champion, Matt Hughes, MMA newcomer, Jacob Hey, and current Icon middleweight champion, Robert “Ruthless” Lawler.
As reported previously, Hughes decided to open his 13,500-square-foot gym in Granite City, Illinois called H.I.T. (Hughes Intensive Training) and his own fight team as well. Hill was supposed to be one of the four founding fighters of Team Hughes but decided to explore other options instead.
“Cory is the type of fighter we are trying to bring to our gym,” Marc Fiore, a longtime cornerman for Hughes who will serve as the team’s wrestling coach, said. “Nonetheless, we wish him the best of luck with his training and fighting career.“
As of the moment, Hill hasn’t given his side on the issue.
The 28-year-old MMA fighter was known for his exposure on the reality show, The Ultimate Fighter 5, where he defeated Rob Emerson in the opening round but lost to eventual show champion Nate Diaz in the quarterfinals.
Team Hughes will now debut with Lawler and Hey. UFC fans will have the chance to witness the two fighters compete under Hughes’ affiliation during their September 15 fights. Lawler will take on EliteXC middleweight champ Murilo “Ninja” Rua at the EliteXC: Uprising event on Showtime, while Hey will take on Millenia Jiu-Jitsu’s Georgi Karakhanyan at Ring of Fire 30 in Colorado.
At present, the former UFC welterweight champion, Lawler, and Hey are the members only members of Team Hughes. Nevertheless, an additional 20 fighters or so are expected to join the fight squad over the next 12 to 24 months.
-Kris De Leon, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of MMAjunkie.com)