It’s difficult to evaluate what went wrong in a fight when you get knocked out in 21 seconds.
It’s even more difficult, mere minutes later, to evaluate a career that has spanned more than 50 fights, and determine where that career is headed.
But that’s exactly where UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes found himself after his fight with B.J. Penn at UFC 123 in Detroit. In an increasingly Internet-centric society that craves up-to-the-second information, Hughes didn’t have immediate answers.
“I don’t know what the plan is now. I had a perfect training camp coming into this. This is one of those fights I would have paid my purse to Dana White to put this fight together,” Hughes told interviewer Joe Rogan in the Octagon after the fight.
Two weeks later, Hughes has the advantage of hindsight looking back on the fight, a rubber match that put the Hawaiian up 2-1 in their trilogy.
“A lot of people have been asking about the fight and how I am doing. Of course, the fight didn’t go like I had planned it,” Hughes wrote in a blog post on Matt-Hughes.com. “He hit me with a hard right hand that I never saw coming. It’s funny how styles make fights and I’m not at all like Frankie Edgar. So it just kind of stinks that B.J. came off two losses (both to Edgar) and then ended up beating me in less than 30 seconds.”
Hindsight doesn’t determine his future, however, and Hughes still hasn’t decided where that future lies, although that sunset in the distance seems to be pulling him ever nearer.
“I don’t know what I’ll do now. I’m definitely going to take the winter off and some of the spring. I had three fights this year, so I’ve just got some other things I want to do; but I will say that this was one big step closer to retirement for me.”
After nearly 13 years, 50-plus fights, and numerous UFC title bouts, it’s safe to say Hughes has earned a few more months to make a decision that affects a major portion of his life.