A month ago, we all saw Chris “Lights Out” Lytle (31-18-5) take his career into his own hands and announce his retirement before his bout with Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy (23-10-1). He stated that regardless of the outcome, he was going to walk away from MMA on his own terms. Fortunately for Lytle, he picked up the victory over Hardy and was able to ride into the sunset on a positive note. Last weekend, UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes (46-9) took a page out of Lytle’s book and hinted that his bout with Koscheck at UFC 135 could be his last.
Just days before the event, Hughes announced that he had reached the last fight of his current contract and wasn’t sure what would happen following the Koscheck fight. He also said that his wife had been wanting to him to walk away from the sport as well. After being defeated by Koscheck via KO and for the second time in as many fights, Matt Hughes has now reached a cross roads in his illustrious career. Should he go the Chuck Liddell route and keep fighting until Dana forces you to retire or follow Lytle’s lead and go out on your own terms?
Well it seems that Hughes has found a happy medium and has asked to be “shelved” until he figures out what he wants to do.
According to Dana White, however, he’s not really sure Hughes has actually reached the last fight of this deal because “he’s a guy we’ve never had to worry about last fights or whatever.” Dana also said that Hughes would probably fly out to Vegas in the next month or so and talk face-to-face and figure out what he wants to do, similar to the way Dana handled Liddell’s retirement. He’s pretty sure that Hughes will retire, though, even if he doesn’t use those exact words himself.
As a fan, you’ve got to know that Hughes has nothing left to prove with his career. He’s a UFC Hall of Famer, two-time UFC Welterweight Champion, the current record holder for most victories inside the UFC Octagon, record holder for most successful Welterweight title defenses, and always down to fight whoever, whenever. Dana will probably make sure Hughes is aware of this and guide him slowly out the door, mostly for his own health and safety. With Hughes asking to be “shelved” it’s safe to say that fans won’t be seeing him in action any time in the near future.
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