Hughes drug his feet on retiring for as long as possible before a lack of opportunity and urgings from his family forced him onto the sidelines. With first-frame knockout losses in his last two fights, there’s no way Hughes is happy with how his career ended and the right opportunity could be enough to get him intrigued. His wrestling and power never faded, just his chin, so the right kind of matchmaking might produce a winnable situation for Hughes as well as a competitive clash fans would be into.
Renzo Gracie has been in the headlines lately based on his desire to fight again under the UFC banner. While Gracie certainly has the expertise required for action in the Octagon, the 46-year old is obviously past his prime and was outclassed by Matt Hughes in his last appearance more than three years ago. Still, there’s little doubt men with credentials and contributions to the sport similar to Gracie’s would likely be welcomed by fans in a one-off situation preferring to see a legend in action one last time than regional prospect potentially fizzling out after two tilts. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)