UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes has decided to hang up his gloves for good after half-heartedly contemplating a comeback, dropping the curtain on a career spanning more than a decade and featuring one of the most storied runs in the promotion’s history. The former welterweight champion held an overall record of 45-9 including 35 finishes and success against former title-holders including B.J. Penn, Sean Sherk, and Georges St-Pierre.
However, while Hughes won’t be taking to the Octagon again, the 39-year old hasn’t been put out to pasture either and will remain on with the company as a Vice President of Athlete Development and Government Relations. His retirement was confirmed in a press release from the UFC announcing his new role.
“This is something that the UFC is implementing because they really care about their athletes. I’ve experienced ups and downs in my career and found that the UFC has supported me every step of the way. I understand the pressures and responsibilities that go along with being a professional athlete. I look forward to using my knowledge and experience to provide insight and perspective on behalf of athletes and the organization,” said Hughes in a prepared statement for media.
Hughes is expected to offer as an advisor to talent regarding professionalism, such as training practices and potential drug use, as well as a serve as a liaison between the UFC and various government entities during the regulation process.
The UFC also revealed a new conduct policy had been implemented along with Hughes’ arrival in Zuffa’s ivory tower. Though specifics weren’t offered, the press release attached to the news explained, “As ambassadors of the sport and the organization, UFC athletes have always been held to a high standard. The UFC recognizes that athletes face both professional and personal pressures, and with health and safety paramount, the Conduct Policy coupled with the new resource Hughes will provide in his role, best positions UFC athletes for a successful career and post-UFC future.”
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC