The rumors have been swirling, but now Stephan Bonnar says he’s heard it straight from the horse’s mouth. According to Bonnar, Matt Hughes told him that Saturday night’s grudge match against Matt Serra will be his last fight before the UFC legend heads off into retirement.
“I’ve heard it from Matt Hughes’ mouth that this is going to be his last fight – I think win or lose,” Bonnar said on the latest edition of ESPN’s MMA Live. “He really has nothing left to prove.”
There is no question that Hughes has nothing left to prove. He’s one of the most accomplished fighters the sport has ever seen. During his 11-year career, Hughes held the UFC’s welterweight title from November 2001 to January 2004 and again from October 2004 to November 2006.
His legendary run included seven title defenses and notable wins over Georges St. Pierre, B.J. Penn, Sean Sherk, Frank Trigg, Carlos Newton and Royce Gracie.
While there have been a lot of rumors about this being Hughes’ final fight, this is the first time someone close to Hughes has come out and said it. Whether or not Hughes retires probably depends on how he looks against Serra. If Hughes destroys Serra, it may be a lot tougher for him to walk away from the Octagon than if he looks like a shadow of his former self, as was the case recently with Frank Shamrock and Chuck Liddell.
If Hughes does call it a career after Saturday night, he will go down as one of the best fighters in the history of the sport and a certain UFC Hall of Famer. He may not have been the most popular fighter in the world but MMA fans have to respect the overall skill level that Hughes brought to the table. Plus, he came to entertain and whether you liked him or not, his fights were damn fun to watch and in the end, that’s what it’s all about.