TUESDAY NEWS DIGEST 2/26: Matt Hughes accused of choking, threatening to shoot his wife, Ben Askren comments on ‘dumb’ Colby Covington, and more

By Michael Hiscoe, Managing Editor

Jan 14, 2018; St. Louis, MO, USA; UFC Hall of fame inductee and former UFC champion Matt Hughes is honored during UFC Fight Night at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Restraining order

Former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes has been hit with restraining orders from his estranged wife and twin brother according to reporting by TMZ. The allegations made against Hughes are serious and have all occurred since his June 2017 accident when his pickup truck was struck by a train.

Court documents obtained by TMZ detail an incident in which Hughes allegedly assaulted his wife Audra Hughes in the shower. She says Matt Hughes approached her in the shower, asking her for his car keys. She refused to tell him, claiming that he shouldn’t be driving due to his recent brain injury. Matt also asked for the code to his gun vault. Audra also denied this request. At this point, Audra alleges Matt choked her, hit her head against the shower wall and said: “This is what choking is.”

Another incident in July 2018 when Audra took Matt’s phone because she believed he was “communicating with multiple women.” Matt then said, “I’m going to f*cking shoot you,” according to the documents.

Matt’s is not allowed within 500 feet of his wife.

Twin brother, Mark has also filed a restraining order against Hughes. Matt allegedly grabbed Mark’s 15-year-old son and shook him over a dispute in ownership of a tractor. A week later, Matt is said to have doused the tractor and area around it with gasoline.

Mark received a restraining order against Matt in October, preventing Matt from being in contact with Mark or his family.

Matt Hughes has not commented on any of the allegations as of yet.

Easy money

Ben Askren will make his UFC debut on Saturday against Robbie Lawler, but that doesn’t mean he can’t comment on some other UFC welterweights. During a media lunch this week, Askren had some strong words for former interim welterweight champion Colby Covington. Askren feels that everything from Covington’s ability to his persona has been overblown.

“Colby’s got no skills,” Askren said (via MMAFighting). “He’s gotta fight. … If he doesn’t fight, I don’t think one person in the whole world will shed a tear. Like, thank god that era is over. I think the UFC made it more than it was because if you look at any of his social media he doesn’t have that many followers. There was never that much of a ‘We want to see Colby!’ It just wasn’t there. It was staged.”

Askren also criticized the way Covington has navigated the situation that saw him stripped of his interim championship and passed over for a welterweight title shot in favor of Kamaru Usman.

“Colby was too dumb,” Askren said. “He thought the promoter was his friend. He thought, ‘Hey, he’s my buddy, he’s gonna do everything good for me. He’s gonna take care of me.’ … He looks so dumb and he continues to look dumb.”

Despite all of the shade he is throwing Covington’s way, Askren is willing to admit that Covington could be next in line for a title shot at teammate Tyron Woodley.

“I think that’s the obvious next fight for Tyron,” Askren said. “It’s an easy one, too. Who doesn’t like easy money?”

Tuesday Notebook

Tyron Woodley told media that he felt both Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor “looked bad” in their UFC 229 fight and “They both looked like old men at the nursing home fighting each other.”

-Josh Emmett vs. Michael Johnson, and Ray Borg vs. Liu Pinyuan has been added to UFC Philadelphia on March 30.

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