Fight of the Week: Matt Hughes vs. Frank Trigg at UFC 52

By Al Stover
Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

It looks like Matt Hughes’ days in mixed martial arts are over.

In an interview with the Iowa Daily Gate, Hughes stated that he was “fully retired” from fighting. This came one year after his fight with Josh Koscheck back in 2011, where he lost by a first-round knock out. Hughes ended his career with 45 wins and nine losses.

Over the course of 16 years, Hughes captured the UFC Welterweight championship on two-separate occasions, was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2010 and is only one of two men who can say they have finished MMA legend Royce Gracie in a fight.

Of all of Hughes’ accomplishments and matches, there is one bout that stands out in the minds of several fans: his rematch with Frank “Twinkle Toes” Trigg in 2005.

Hughes and Trigg first met in 2003, in which Hughes submitted Twinkle Toes in the first round with a rear naked choke. Two years later, UFC President Dana White called Hughes and said he had to fight Trigg again. Although he was reluctant at first, Hughes agreed to once again square off against his old rival.

With the crowd cheering him on, Hughes walked to the center of the octagon to meet Trigg, who blew the champion a kiss before being pushed away.

As the fight began, the two fighters quickly tied up before Hughes pushed Trigg into the cage. As the two were engaged in a clinch, Trigg kicked Hughes in the groin, which was not seen by referee Mario Yamasaki.

Hughes stepped back to try and get help from the referee while Trigg went on the attack and knocked the champion with a punch before delivering a vicious ground and pound.

Trigg continued to throw strikes before taking the mount where he quickly took control of Hughes’s back, locking in a rear naked choke.

Just as it appeared that Trigg was going to avenge his 2003 loss to Hughes, the champion was able to roll over and escape the hold. He then picked up Trigg, ran across the octagon and slammed him into the canvas.

Hughes delivered elbows and strikes to Trigg’s face before taking control of the back and locking Trigg in a choke. Just like in their first fight, Trigg tapped out and Hughes successfully retained the championship.

Although the rematch between Hughes and Trigg at UFC 52 may have been overshadowed by the light heavyweight title fight between Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell at the time, this fight was voted as the third greatest fight in UFC history. It is also the favorite fight ever of White’s.

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