Former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes stated yesterday in a local newspaper interview that he was retired from active competition. Hughes has not yet made an official statement announcing his retirement, but he has not competed in mixed martial arts since his loss to Josh Koscheck at UFC 135 over a year ago.
After his last fight, Hughes did not go quite so far as to say that he would not appear in the Octagon again, saying, “I’m not retiring. I’m going to tell the UFC to put me up on a shelf and we’ll see what happens after that.” Many fans speculated that this was code for retirement from a fierce competitor struggling with the decision to say goodbye to the sport he loved. That theory now seems to have been confirmed.
During the interview with the Daily Gate, a newspaper near his home, Hughes stated,
“I’ve not announced my retirement, but right now it looks like I’m fully retired. The UFC still treats me well so I can be retired. It’s just funny, when God puts you on a road, you don’t know where you are going. I have all the faith that he put me there, and I have to thank him from that.”
As with many once-dominant fighters after they begin to age, it can be easy to forget just how good an iconic fighter like Hughes was in his prime. If Hughes never fights again, he will boast an incredible 45-9 record over the course of his career, with 35 of those victories by either submission or TKO. For a long time he was virtually unstoppable, defending his welterweight title seven times.