Former long-time UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes suffered an upsetting 21-second knockout defeat in a rubber match against BJ Penn last month at UFC 123 and, according to a post he made on his personal blog, the loss could mean the end of mixed martial arts competition for the decorated veteran.
“A lot of people have been asking about the fight and how I am doing,” Hughes wrote. “Of course, the fight didn’t go like I had planned it. I knew BJ was going to be in shape, but I didn’t know he was going to come in with a game plan and really look for my tendencies. I think BJ knew I was going to come in throwing my jab and I think he had a game plan for that. He hit me with a hard right hand that I never saw coming. It’s funny how styles make fights and I’m not at all like Frankie Edgar. So it just kind of stinks that BJ came off two losses and then ended up beating me in less than 30 seconds. I knew BJ was going to be tough that first round. I was trying to get him into the second and the third round where I could wear on him, slow him down and soften him up a little bit; but it just didn’t go that way.”
While Hughes stayed away from declaring retirement, he admitted that the future of his career is up in the air and that he is going to take a much-deserved break to sort things out.
“I don’t know what I’ll do now. I’m definitely going to take the winter off and some of the spring,” he said. “I had three fights this year, so I’ve just got some other things I want to do; but I will say that this was one big step closer to retirement for me.”
As is his custom, Hughes ended his blog entry with a Bible verse, this one possibly foreshadowing his next move or just offering some insight into his current mindset.
“Here is the Bible verse for this week: The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever. (Isaiah 40:8)”
Hughes’ professional record currently stands at 45-8 and the recent loss to Penn snapped a three-fight winning streak that he had built up. He is a UFC Hall of Famer who defended the UFC Welterweight Championship seven times.