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Classic Fight: Matt Hughes Discusses the Night He Fell Asleep and Woke Up Champion


(Props: fueltv via Taz Styles)

In this clip from FUEL TV’s Ultimate Matt Hughes special, the UFC Hall of Famer (and current Vice President of Athlete Development and Government Relations) recalls his infamous welterweight title fight at UFC 34 back in November 2001, in which he defeated Carlos Newton via slam-knockout, despite being nearly finished by a triangle choke. At the time, Hughes was returning to the UFC after building up a seven-fight win streak outside of the organization, and Newton had just become champion by bulldog-choking Hughes’s homey Pat Miletich seven months earlier at UFC 31.

From the moment that Newton emerged for his pimpin’-pimpin’ walkout to the cage, Hughes wasn’t impressed. (“This guy’s off in la-la land, thinkin’ this is some entertainment show…I’m gonna mop this guy up.”) And Hughes did just that for a while, until he found Newton’s legs wrapped around his neck. As was often the case when Hughes found himself in trouble in a fight, he picked up his opponent and carried him like a bale of hay.

Hughes claims that he slammed Newton intentionally — even though it kind of looked like he just passed out on the spot — but he does admit that he was dazed afterwards, half-asleep from the affects of Newton’s triangle choke. But since Newton was completely unconscious, the belt went to the challenger. Hughes would defend the title five times during his first championship reign, including a fourth-round TKO win over Newton in a rematch the following year. Newton never fought for a UFC title again, and is currently trying to sell his afro wig on eBay.

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sidkof- May 3, 2013 at 11:47 am
just before I looked at the paycheck that said $7381, I have faith that...my... sister could truly making money in there spare time on there computar.. there great aunt started doing this for under 23 months and as of now paid the mortgage on their mini mansion and bought a brand new Fiat Multipla. this is where I went, ======wow65.Com=====
godspeed- May 2, 2013 at 8:13 pm
No mas pantalones
Pen Fifteen- May 2, 2013 at 5:10 pm
You guys need to make a hotlink for today's "headlines" next time anyone bitches about it being a slow news day. 2-year-old kicks couch is the most relevant story.
Cloventhal- May 2, 2013 at 5:07 pm
I am glad Hughes won after seeing Newton grab the fence blatantly
cman- May 2, 2013 at 2:31 pm
What are you looking for? a double knockout?
The12ozCurls- May 2, 2013 at 1:59 pm
Hughes on first?
Fried Taco- May 2, 2013 at 1:56 pm
It was God's will!
enrikk- May 2, 2013 at 1:49 pm
Well Hughes, understandably, didn't want his title challenged after he'd been declared the winner, so he told the story the way he needed to.

But everyone knew what happened that night, and it was obvious even to the announcers as it was happening. "He didn't even know he won the title, Mike!"

So yeah, Hughes stretched the truth as far as it would go and no one officially challenged it, but it isn't exactly a "world's best conspiracy", either. Anyway, it's just a fun time in MMA history, chaos and all :)
JoseMonkey- May 2, 2013 at 1:17 pm
They conveniently omit the part where you can hear Hughes tell his cornermen "I was out." Check out hxxp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-_ZlFBKUXY
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