If Matt Hughes never steps foot in the Octagon again he will go down as one of the greatest UFC fighters and champions the sport has ever known.
Over the last few years however as Hughes’ career began to wind down, time and the talent around him caught up as he went 3-4 over his last seven fights. Most recently, Hughes dropped his last two fights in a row and while he’s made no official announcement, UFC President Dana White believes it’s time for the UFC Hall of Famer to officially hang up his gloves.
Speaking to a group of reporters on Thursday following the UFC on Fuel 5 pre fight press conference, White admitted that he thinks it’s time for Hughes to call it a career because after multiple runs as welterweight champion and beating the best in the world for the past almost 15 years, he has nothing left to accomplish.
“I want Hughes to retire. Hughes has nothing left to prove,” White said.
Recently the only time Hughes has been in the news has been with comments coming from rival Dan Hardy after the former welterweight champion posted pictures of his hunting expedition in Africa. Other than that, Hughes has primarily been spending his time at home with family and staying out of the fight spotlight.
Hughes has waivered in the past about retiring from the sport, and White knows it’s a natural struggle that many old school fighters deal with, much like fellow UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell dealt with at the end of his career.
“If you look at the guys who helped us build this company, Hughes was one of them, Chuck Liddell (too), it’s hard to finally say it’s over,” said White.
If Hughes ever does decide to make a comeback, White knows it will be with the UFC, but for all intents and purposes he’s hoping the legendary welterweight will spend more time enjoying life and leave the Octagon behind.
“He’s with us forever anyways. Hughes is one of our guys,” White stated. “He can keep the door open forever.”
To view the entire video from the UFC on Fuel 5 media scrum check out the video from MMA Crazy on YouTube