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.