Matt Hughes retires, joins UFC’s front office as VP of Athlete Development and Government Relations

Matt Hughes. Photo courtesy of MMA Bay.

Former two-time UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes has officially announced his retirement and joined the UFC's front office in the brand-new role of Vice-President of Athlete Development and Government Relations.

UFC COO Lawrence Epstein broke the news prior to this afternoon's pre-fight press conference for UFC on FOX 6 in Chicago. According to Epstein, Hughes will be overseeing the UFC's new conduct policy, which will seek to help fighters hold themselves to a high standard, both in and out of the cage.

“Hughes will be an invaluable resource for UFC athletes,” Epstein said in a press release to the media. “Leveraging the background and expertise he gained over a Hall of Fame career, Hughes will be dedicated to providing guidance on a wide range of issues athletes face inside and outside of the octagon.

"This includes understanding the heightened social responsibility that comes with being in the public eye, to best practices when dealing with endorsements or managing finances, to the basic daily challenges of staying healthy during training, as well as the need to steer clear of illegal and/or performance-enhancing drugs. In addition to his work with UFC athletes, Hughes will engage with state athletic commissions and international federations to provide regulatory insight from the perspective of a professional athlete.”

“This is something that the UFC is implementing because they really care about their athletes,” Hughes added. “I’ve experienced ups and downs in my career and found that the UFC has supported me every step of the way. I understand the pressures and responsibilities that go along with being a professional athlete. I look forward to using my knowledge and experience to provide insight and perspective on behalf of athletes and the organization.”

Hughes leaves the sport with 45 professional wins. He held the UFC welterweight title on two separate occasions, first reigning from November 2001 to January 2004 and then again from October 2004 to November 2006.

He holds wins over former UFC champions Georges St. Pierre, B.J. Penn, Carlos Newton, Sean Sherk, Dave Menne and Matt Serra. Hughes remains the UFC's all-time winningest fighter, with a total of 18 victories under the promotional banner.

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