Unlike Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens, former UFC welterweight champ Matt Hughes will not have the opportunity to retire on top. During Thursday’s “UFC on FOX Johnson vs. Dodson” press conference, Hughes announced his retirement from the sport of mixed martial arts.
However, don’t expect to see Hughes standing in the unemployment line anytime soon. The UFC Hall of Famer will become the VP of Athlete Development and Government Relations for the planet’s premier MMA promotion.
Hughes will be responsible for serving as a mentor to all of the fighters under contract with the UFC.
“It’s funny the road God puts you on, you never know where you’re going to end up,” Hughes read from his prepared statement. “What started out as a hobby, brought me to the UFC and here in front of you now. I love this sport and the new position is the best way for me to stay in it moving forward.
“I look forward to using my experience in providing a perspective for both the UFC and the fighters.”
Hughes owns an extensive 45-9 professional résumé , but in his last five fights against the division’s top competitors, the the 39-year-old has lost them all in convincing fashion. His wins during that stretch came against Chris Lytle, Matt Serra, Renzo Gracie and Ricardo Almeida, respectively.
Only Serra remains with the organization, but he hasn’t been seen since losing to Lytle September of 2010.
For those new to the MMA game, Hughes is a nine-time UFC champion. He was the Georges St-Pierre of the welterweight division before St-Pierre became GSP.
He was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in May of 2010. There are currently only nine icons in the exclusive club.