Former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes retired in 2011 and was given a no-show job with the UFC, something president Dana White did with several fighters who wanted to fight on past a point that seems healthy. However, the new UFC owners WME-IMG cut the position, leaving nothing to stop Hughes from fighting again if he wants to.
During a recent appearance on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour, Hughes said he wants to. But there are some caveats.
“I would love to come back,” said Hughes, as transcribed by Adam Guillen Jr. for MMA Mania. “I didn’t want to retire in the first place. Dana thought it was the best thing for me and so did my stinking wife,” said Hughes. “My wife said she didn’t want me to fight anymore and that it wasn’t as fun like when I was out there kicking ass. She didn’t like the worry, and Dana said the same thing, so that’s why I retired.”
“I would love to go out and fight again. My problem is, I lost my last two fights and that’s the only thing I think about is those stinking losses. What would be fun for me is to fight with my buddy Chuck Liddell, if he came out of retirement. It would be a blast to fight on the same card together.”
Liddell was recently asked if he was returning and left his options open.
“We’ll see,” he said. “I am retired right now, so we’ll see.”
Liddell is now 47, and Hughes is 43. While Hughes is open that he wants to return, a man’s got to know his limitations.
“Of course I would have a list of who I want to fight and who I don’t want to fight,” said Hughes. “I think I could still be competitive, I haven’t trained in a few years. Now, I have no interest in fighting someone like Tyron Woodley or Masvidal, some of these young kids. I would want to have someone close to my age that has the same speed, quickness. I think I have all kinds of power and can recover well, but that speed and quickness is a tough thing to overcome.”
Hughes said he would be happy to fight Matt Serra. Serra, however, is successfully retired, and is a middleweight in that a lot of his weight is in his middle. Hughes expressed loyalty to White, and said his preference is to fight in the UFC, but acknowledged that if the right fight came along, he would fight elsewhere.
That right fight is a rematch with Royce Gracie in Bellator MMA.