UFC 135 Fight Card: What a Loss Would Mean for Matt Hughes

Brandon ChillingworthCorrespondent IISeptember 24, 2011

Matt Hughes is a UFC legend and Hall of Famer.

He's one of the best welterweight champions of all time and has fought the who's-who of the division for years. At 37 and with over 50 fights under his belt, people are wondering if Josh Koscheck will be his final opponent.

Hughes has only one fight remaining on his UFC contract and it's very likely that this could be the end if he should lose to Koscheck.

I think that a big determining factor of how Hughes decides to go forward will be how the fight ends if he loses.

Hughes' last fight was against BJ Penn, and he was knocked out badly. He ate a very hard right hand, and got hit with a few more shots when he was on the ground. When fighters start getting knocked out badly, the end is usually near.

Hughes is a guy that loves to compete. If he's competitive in the fight with Koscheck and loses narrowly, I imagine he will come back for a few more fights. Nobody wants to put an end to their legacy with a string of loses.

I have a feeling that this fight will come down to a striking match. Both fighters are top-level wrestlers, and sometimes when top wrestlers fight, their ground game cancels each other out.

If the fight stays standing, Hughes will have to be very weary of Koscheck trying to load up on his big right hand. That punch certainly has the power to end the fight, and possibly Hughes' career.

In the prefight interviews, Hughes has constantly brought up the fact that he only has one fight on his contract left. He hasn't said whether or not he plans to retire.

This could very well be the last fight of the legendary career of Matt Hughes. If Koscheck knocks out the UFC Hall of Famer, expect for a retirement announcement.

Be sure to check out Bleacher Report for all things UFC 135. B/R is your home for MMA, from pre-fight predictions to in-fight coverage, and post-fight analysis...which you can check out at our event hub.