No one can deny that Matt Hughes was one of the best wrestlers the UFC has ever seen. But the one thing that had made him famous was his biggest downfall in UFC 85.
Matt Hughes was so focused on getting that take down that it ended up failing. In all of his previous fights, except for UFC 79, he always tried to throw some punches or work in the clinch then go for the take down.
Today at UFC 85, Matt Hughes went for the take down too much. There was no surprise, Alves could clearly see the takedowns coming and would shrug them off by retreating or sprawling really hard.
From my personal wrestling experience, I know a good tackle comes from a good set up. Hughes didn't try to set up his take downs at all, he just barreled forward. I have never seen pure wrestler shots work in MMA unless the opponent was throwing a punch and caught off guard, and even then a good sprawl could always keep a fighter safe.
This fixation on the shot and take down left Matt Hughes wide open for barrages of punches which Alves took full advantage of. When that failed, Matt went to full guard, proving that he is no BJJ master.
Great take downs were displayed by Michael Bisping who, from the clinch, did a beautiful level change and took down his opponent, Jason Day. Day was shocked, and that's what it takes for a good take down, to catch them off-guard and leave their body ill-prepared to defend.
Matt Hughes used to do the same, but Matt must be thinking, "because I am a great wrestler I should just do a take down." Anyone who knows MMA knows that you can not win a professional match with one style, which is what Matt Hughes was trying to do.
I don't know if Hughes will continue to do MMA. I think he need to do what Randy Couture did and take a year or two off. I am not saying stop fighting, I mean no training or anything.
In my personal experience, after busting my hump off for a couple years, it was always good to take a year off. You come back fresh with a new mind set. If you wear yourself to0 ragged then you will never improve no matter how hard you train, and I think this is Matt Hughes's problem.