Mixed martial arts great Matt Hughes last fought inside the Octagon on September 24, 2011, losing to Josh Koscheck. Since that time, he hasn’t had much to say about his future in fighting.
Today, before the UFC on Fox 6 pre-fight press conference, UFC President Dana White announced that Hughes' competitive career has come to a close, as he has officially retired and moved to a new position within the UFC.
The welterweight legend finishes his career with a 45-9 record, including 17 knockouts and 18 submissions. Though his career ended with two consecutive knockout losses, it’s the dominating fighter of the early days of his career that we will remember.
Hughes retires with the most wins in UFC history (18), third in UFC title bouts wins (nine), second in fights in the UFC (25), tied for third in most consecutive UFC title defense (five) and almost four hours of total time inside the Octagon (three hours and 43 minutes).
While Hughes may be retiring from fighting, he won’t be leaving the UFC altogether. He will move to a new position with the promotion: Vice President of Athletic Development and Government Relations.
In that role, Hughes will serve as a mentor to all of the fighters currently under the UFC banner, a role that many other professional sports have a former superstar athlete serving in.
In announcing Hughes’ new role and retirement, UFC president Dana White praised Hughes as a fighter that always "held himself to the highest ethical standard” and commented that he was an individual he could always count on, no matter the request.
Hughes will meet with media later today to address White's announcement. Stay tuned to Bleacher Report MMA for more on this developing story.
*Quotes obtained firsthand by Bleacher Report MMA.