The last time we saw UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes in the Octagon he fought Josh Koscheck at UFC 135 and unfortunately he was on the wrong end of a knockout. As recently as UFC 153, UFC President Dana White made comments about how he would like to see the former champion step away from fighting, yet it seems Hughes isn’t quite ready to turn the house lights up on his career just yet.
The 39-year old Hughes currently has a record of 45–9 and he is very much aware that time isn’t on his side, but he won’t pull the trigger on walking away yet, telling MMAFighting, “I wouldn’t say I’ve closed the door, but I’ve got my hand on the door handle. You know it’s been over a year since I’ve fought, and I’ve having a good time with my family raising my kids, which I think is a bigger thing than me competing.”
“I’m having a good time at home with the family, and kind of, maybe, lost the desire just a little bit to compete. I’m not retired yet, but it is looking like that’s where I’m going,” he continued.
Hughes went on to say that he has had a chance to discuss the entire situation with White and admitted it meant a lot to him to hear someone like the outspoken executive say he has nothing left to prove in the sport.
“I think he’s taking my best interests to heart. I still think he could make some money off me, put me on a card, but he’s looking past the financial side of things, and saying, ‘Hey, you’ve been here for a long time and you’re good to go. You can retire.’ With him talking like a father and not a businessman, it really lets it sink in a little deeper than it would the other way,” relayed Hughes on his relationship with White. The admitted country boy’s better half, however, is being much more definitive about retiring.
“My wife, of course, has said, ‘Hey, you need to retire. You’ve got nothing else to prove.’ So with those two saying that, it’s kind of leaning on me a little bit. I’m 39 years old. I don’t fetch the way I used to.”
One way that Hughes would like to help the sport is to help train judges, explaining, “When I’m a judge, I can only help the fighters that are right in front of me. I would rather have a piece of a school, or help these judges figure out the best way to judge. Of course, I wouldn’t be the lead person. I wouldn’t want any financial interest in it whatsoever. But by gosh, these judges need to have some knowledge. They can’t go from a boxing atmosphere and think that MMA is going to be the same way. You just can’t.”
Whatever Hughes chooses to do, there’s no doubt he’ll excel at it and MMA will be better off for his involvement.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC