Matt Hughes. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Months before Matt Hughes even signed to fight arch-rival Matt Serra at UFC 98 in May, the former longtime UFC welterweight champion revealed that he would be taking some time to think about whether or not he wanted to continue fighting in a sport that almost seems to have passed him by.
He might not be able to compete at the level he did in the past, but it seems that Hughes still has the urge to fight regardless from what he told USA Today’s Sergio Non:
“I still feel healthy. I’m 35 years old. Randy Couture’s what? 44, 45 or something? If he can do it, I can do it. This is what I do — I’m a fighter. I still want to fight, I still want to compete.
“I’ve never been that guy chasing titles, chasing awards. To be honest, after I won my first five belts or something, they were underneath my bed, I didn’t even take them out. As far as plaques on the wall, I could care less. I want my hand raised. I’m a competitor.”
The difference between Hughes and Couture is that Hughes has shown that he can’t keep up with the welterweight division’s best while Couture, at least for now, is still one of the top contenders at heavyweight. I’m glad to see that Hughes still wants to fight. Many of his bouts are exciting. However I don’t see him being anything more than a gatekeeper for the remainder of his professional career. He could be fine with that though, we’ll see.
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