springing this last minute fight on Bj
I agree that there was no excuse but you do train a bit differently for certain opponents. Not knowing who your fighting until the last 6 weeks doesn't help Bjs training efforts. I'm sure Hughes trained cardio like crazy expecting to fight GSP, an opponent that is just as fit as Hughes so when GSP backed out he was already at least 6 months ahead of BJ in the cardio department. Hughes certainly didn't get any better with his striking or anything because his skills looked the same as they did before... OK at best. To throw somebody at Hughes with minimal time to train is the best tactic I've seen the UFC use to keep him the champ and to preserve all the future Hall of Fame plans and all that other crap they probably already have signed with him.
I'm sure even Hughes liked the idea about springing this last minute fight on Bj knowing he probably couldn't get into the shape he needed FOR A TITLE SHOT.