In a recent feature profile on him written by Iowa’s The Daily Gate, former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes says that he is “fully retired.” Hughes last fought in September of 2011, when he was knocked out by Josh Koscheck at UFC 135.
Up to this point, the farmer-fighter has resisted describing himself as retired even as Dana White suggested that he should call it a career. Currently working on his family farm and only occasionally training, Hughes says that he’s content in retirement because the UFC still “treats him well,” as they tend to do with their former champions in good standing.
“I’ve not announced my retirement, but right now it looks like I’m fully retired,” Hughes told the Gate’s Brad Cameron. “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.”
The rest of the article is worth reading as well, as it brings out more from the tight-lipped Hughes than we’ve seen in some time. He talks about his best opponents and reveals that he would have retired ten years ago had he lost to Carlos Newton. This really makes you think how lives can easily go in different directions considering the fact that it was a bad referee call that gave Hughes the win, after he was choked out by Newton, fell on top of him and accidentally knocked out the then-champion.
“If I would have lost that fight, I would have stepped away and retired,” Hughes told the Gate. “I would have went back to the family farm and probably be in the combine right now cutting beans or hauling beans. I won that fight and it kept me in it. It was that defining moment where I thought, ‘I’m done with this hobby,’ but I won the fight and I kept going forward.”