The extended New Year’s weekend that just passed left us with a lot of questions, especially when it comes to the big names that ended up coming up short in their fights - Wanderlei Silva, Gilbert Melendez, Murilo Bustamante, and Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou for starters.
However the biggest question involves Matt Hughes. Is it time for the former nine-time UFC welterweight champion to hang up the gloves?
In my opinion, no. At 34, Hughes still has at least a couple of solid years left in him. I’d still pick him to beat a lot of guys in the UFC’s welterweight division, Matt Serra included.
At the UFC 79 post-fight press conference, it seemed like Hughes was truly set on sitting down and thinking hard about his future:
“I’m not gonna come out here and be somebody’s highlight reel. It’s just not me,” Hughes said. “I just have to go back to the drawing board and see what’s going on, see what I want to do. I’ve got to see what my family wants to do and I’ve got to pray on it. Dana White and the UFC have treated me like family, so I’ve got to see what they want me to do and I’ve got to see where my heart is at.”
Now after talking to White and the Fertitta brothers, I get the impression that Hughes still has the drive inside of him:
I’m going to take some time off and think about things. I’ve already talked to Dana and Lorenzo, and we’ll probably see what happens with Georges and Serra. And if Serra loses, I might go against him. Nothing is set in stone, just an idea right now.
I’m not sure that time off is the best thing for Hughes fighting-wise, especially after coming off a nine-month layoff. However for someone that is questioning themselves mentally in terms of where their career stands, I guess it can only be a good thing.
Throwing all of the negativity going around about Hughes’ personality out the window, I hope he continues to fight for a couple more years. He’s always been an exciting guy to watch compete and I think he still has a few good fights left in him.