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Made in America: The Most Dominant Champion in UFC History Paperback – January 6, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Though his name may not ring any bells for most, Hughes is a star among the growing audience for ultimate fighting and mixed martial arts competitions; in this workmanlike memoir, the nine-time Ultimate Fighting Championship Welterweight Champion recounts his journey to the top. His endearing tales of growing up in the small town of Hillsboro, Ill. do much to humanize the fighter, featuring vivid accounts of teenage mischief. Unfortunately, the attention to detail given to his adolescent pranks doesn't carry throughout the book. Hughes's impressions of Austria, United Arab Emirates and Japan, where he traveled to compete, are mentioned only in passing, an odd omission in the story of a young man from small town America; that space appears to have been reserved for intimate accounts of fights, but even these resist dwelling on gore or violence. Devotees will undoubtedly delight in Hughes' behind-the-scenes accounts of UFC goings-on, as well as a blow-by-blow account of his victory over the legendary Royce Gracie, but the more bloody-minded may find his restraint disappointing.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
MATT HUGHES is the nine-time UFC welterweight world champion. He resides in Hillsboro, Illinois, with his wife, Audra, his son, Joey, and his daughter, Hanna. This is his first book.
Top customer reviews
If you've ever wondered what it was like to get inside the head of an egotistical bully with the intellect of a mentally challenged 4th grader, then you should read this book. You'll revel in Matt Hughes' joyful mutilation of farm animals, bullying of lesser athletes, public urination, wanton drunkeness, and general stupidity as he bumbles his way through life. Mr. Hughes is not only unashamed of his past actions, he actually celebrates them with this piece of hardcover-bound toilet tissue.
The man is a depressing example of professional athletes at their worst, why the mantra of "never meet your heroes" is often true, and this book is a fecal stain of literary biography. Avoid at all costs.
The book gives some pretty good background on his upbringing and his relationship with his brother. I think the majority of the book revolves around that. There is some good background info about the UFC and some fighters but not enough to make me go WOW.
I thought overall the book was OK, but it seemed to jump around a lot and there were times I wasn't sure who or what he was talking about due to the writing style.
The writing was definitely unimpressive and it appeared as if maybe a junior high schooler wrote it.
I marginally recommend it if you are a MMA junkie and want to learn as much as you can about the fighters.
One thing I found particularly disturbing was how his wife seemed terribly upset anytime a fan came to ask for his autograph. It is the fans who pay his purses in the end and it seems like his wife looks down at them as being inferior to her. Granted, you should leave the guy alone when he is eating, but the Disneyland story made his wife look awful.
At his peak, Matt Hughes was a "monster," in the best MMA sense of the word - a one-man wrecking crew who elevated the "ground and pound" to an art form. He was scary strong and could submit opponents with punches, arm-bars or chokes. Choose your poison.
"Made in America", which begins rather abruptly and with little context, is not altogether a flattering portrait. For example, the dude needs some anger management lessons. So his Dad used to come home in a grouchy mood. So Matt and his brother gang up to beat up the old man. Matt's twin brother was 90 minutes late picking him up, so Matt punches him in the face. At his brother's wedding reception, some local boys try to pick up some girls so Hughes and his brother take off to try to beat the #$%$ out of them.
Start to see a familiar pattern here?
Other unflattering aspects to Hughes are self-revealed. For example, Hughes treats Tim Sylvia like dirt when the latter arrives at the Miletich Fighting Systems gym in Bettendorf, IA. Even when Sylvia reaches out to Hughes and tries to mend fences, Hughes blows him off. Later, though, when Hughes is committed to a publicity appearance on the very day his wife is having a C-section, who does he call to bail his butt out? Tim Sylvia!
One chapter briefly covers Hughes' religious conversion to Christianity while on a mission at a Mexican orphanage. Later, in the second fight against Penn, Hughes calls on strength from Christ during the fight and comes back to win (ironically, catching and pounding Penn in a hold known as "the crucifix," a bit of irony that I would not have otherwise noticed).
The autobiography is still going to be an interesting read for MMA fans. Hughes' ascension roughly paralleled the rise of MMA and the UFC from that of a fringe sport to a multi-million dollar mainstream athletic event that is covered by the likes of ESPN and Sports Illustrated. The inside perspectives from the Frank Trigg battles, the Royce Gracie "fight," B.J. Penn 1.0 and 2.0 and the first two fights against George St. Pierre are interesting.
"Made in America" comes out as Hughes - now well into his 30's - is clearly in the twilight of his MMA career. He said as much on the last series of TUF when he mused aloud about having only a few more fights left. He was totally dominated by GSP and tapped out in their third fight in late December 2007. One can only hope that we will still see Hughes vs. Matt Serra before retirement looms, as there is genuine bad blood between the two.
Despite his waning skills and the rise of other fighters at 170 who clearly eclipse Hughes, he has rightly earned his place in the pantheon of UFC and MMA greats.
No one will mistake Matt Hughes for Ernest Hemmingway. (On the other hand, I doubt that Hemingway was any good at a flying rear naked choke, a la the kind Hughes whipped on Frank Trigg.) I confess to being a big Matt Hughes fan. This book tells you more about the guy, warts and all. It is not a work of great literature and doesn't aspire to be. For the MMA fan and enthusiast, it is a quick and still entertaining read.
The book is honest and revealing: Everything from street fights to his conversion to Christianity, to his near death experience at the swirl pool to his long up and downs with his current wife. The book does a great job of capturing Hughes' voice and personality.
I found this book to be more entertaining than Iceman: My Fighting Life (although I would never say that to Liddell's face). Nevertheless, both were great reads and provide extraordinary behind-the-door information about the fastest growing sport in the country.
Most recent customer reviews
I liked it a lot but wished he would have waited until his career was done to...Read more