Former UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Hughes, who has been semi-retired since a UFC 135 knockout loss to Josh Koscheck, has ostensibly decided to hang up the gloves for good. Upon returning from a hunting trip in Africa, which garnered a lot of negative response, the UFC Hall of Famer scheduled an interview with local Iowan newspaper The Iowa Daily Gate, where Hughes confirmed that he’s officially retired.
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.
With a career record of 45-9, the Hillsboro native set the standard for dominance in the UFC as the first champion with true longevity to his title run, holding the belt for five fights from 2001-2004, where he would drop the title to B.J. Penn, who would leave the promotion. Hughes would regain the title later that year, and hold it through 2006 with victories over current champion Georges St-Pierre, Frank Trigg, Joe Riggs, and UFC legend Royce Gracie. The wrestler also redeemed himself and became the first person to stop B.J. Penn in their rematch.