Matt Hughes: End of the Line for a Great Champion

Tony PrestonCorrespondent IApril 8, 2009

LONDON - JULY 13:  Carlos Newton of Canada battles with Matt Hughes of the USA during the Ultimate Fighting Championship, 'Brawl in the Royal Albert Hall', in the Royal Albert Hall London, England on July 13, 2002. (Photo by John Gichigi/Getty Images)

When walking through a dollar store the other day, I saw a $5 movie rack. On the rack were the UFC 52, 58, and 59 DVDs marked down to $3.75. I quickly bought all three.  After watching the UFC 52: Couture/Liddell 2 the match that really peaked my interest was the co main event of Matt Hughes/Frank Trigg 2.

In the first match Matt Hughes had defeated Trigg by rear naked choke.

The second match started as stand up battle that saw Trigg land an unintentional low blow that was unnoticed by the ref. As Hughes tried to back away to recover Trigg pounced and knocked Hughes down.

Trigg then unleashed a brutal ground and pound assault. Hughes ended up reversing position and when Trigg gave up his back Hughes locked in the rear naked choke.

In the post-fight interview, when asked about the low blow Hughes said it was unintentional and Trigg was right to pursue because fighters should fight until they are told to stop.

To me surviving the ground and pound assault and the class he showed in the post fight interview was the heart and class of a champion, which Hughes was for a long time.

Now this brings us to the present Hughes, he was destroyed in his last two fights by GSP and then Thiago Alves. He is scheduled to face Matt Serra at UFC 98. In my opinion win or lose he should retire.

It is obvious that he can no longer compete at a championship level like he once used to. As a result in the post fight interview he should announce his retirement.

By announcing his retirement then it will also give the UFC time to put together a tribute to Matt Hughes and announce his induction into the UFC Hall of Fame at UFC 100.

In my opinion Hughes deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame he has always done things when asked to by the UFC such as take the Alves fight on short notice to save the UFC 85 card and was a great champion.