The Early Life of Matt Hughes
Matt Allen Hughes was born in Hillsboro, Illinois on October 13th, 1973. He was born with a twin brother mark and the family also had another daughter. Being rasied on a farm, Matt and Mark would wrestle with eachother in the barn, and eventually Matt would take those skills to professional heights. Hughes was a two-time 145 lb. state wrestling champion for IHSA ( Illinois High School Association) Class A in 1991 and 1992. Furthermore, Matt is a two-time Division I All-American wrestler, with an 8th and a 5th place finish in the 157 lb. division. Matt Hughes made his first big plash in the MMA world when he took on Carlos Newton for the welterweight crown at UFC 34. Matt is a self-professing Christian and thanks Jesus Christ in victory or defeat.
The Fighting Life of Matt Hughes
The match with Carlos was a close fight until the very end which no one could have preditcted. Carlos was able to secure a triangle choke from the bottom position that had Matt in serious trouble. Rather then try and slip out, Matt used his wrestlers strength to pick Newton off the floor completely. He then walked over to the side of the ring and promptly slammed Newton onto the Matt, knocking him out. Replay's show that Matt was not far from falling asleep in the choke when he managed to pull the upset off. The two had a rematch soon after which ended up with Hughes delivering unanswered blows to Carlos Newton's face from a dominate crucifix position. With the two wins, Matt Hughes established himself as a serious threat at 170 pounds
When It Rains, It Pours...
With the title around his waist, Matt was sure to face the bes 170 had to offer, but he was more then ready for the challenge. Matt defended his title mutiple times against high level fighters such as Huyato Sakurai, Frank Trigg and Sean Sherk. Hughes then lost the title is shocking fashion to B.J Penn, but after Penn left the UFC due to a contract dispute, Hughes stepped up to face George St. Pierre for the vacant title. Matt's experience and wrestling abilties helped him survive the first round against the French Canadian and eventually pull an armbar submission off with one second left in the round. With the win the title back with Hughes, he didn't plan on letting it go without a fight. Hughes defeated Frank Trigg once again as well as Joe Riggs and UFC legend Royce Gracie. When the time for a rematch became available with B.J Penn, Hughes managed to pull the upset off and defeated Penn by 3rd round TKO. The win was contraversial due to a rib injury claim from Penn, which many believe led to the Hughes victory.
The Later Years
As is common with this sport, the worst matchup for any fighter, is someone better at what they do best. This is the situation Hughes found himself in when he took on George St Pierre in the rematch. Hughes had little to offer the French Canadian on the feet, and was un-able to take St. Pierre down to the mat. Hughes was eventually caught with a high kick in round 2 and suffered a TKO loss. When the two fought for a third time, the gap between the two skill wise became all the more clear. George was able to stuff Matt's take-down attempts with ease and throw hughes to the mat at will. In what could be considered a slightly altered re-play of their first meeting, St. Pierre was able to finish Hughes off by armbar in the second round. Recently dropping another fight to up and comer Thiago Alves, Hughes has made it clear that he plans to retire soon but not before a fight with rival Matt Serra. The two developed the rivalry while taping the 6th season of the ultimate fighter
. No date has been set for the fight as of this time. Matt Hughes is easily considered one of the most dominate champions the UFC has ever seen and a welteweight legend.
Tale of the Tape
- Age: 35
- Height: 5'9"
- Weight: 170 lbs
- Reach: 73"
- Born: Hillsboro, IL
- Fighting out of: Hillsboro, IL
- Record: 44-7-0
- Division: Welterweight (170)
- Hughes is a 2 time Welterweight champion.
- He has defended his belt a record seven times.
- Hughes owns his own gym, Hughes Intensive Training, in Granite City, IL.
- He defeated MMA legend Royce Gracie via TKO.
- Along with Chuck Liddell, he has the most wins in the UFC with 16.
- Hughes has appeared on Spike's hit TV show The Ultimate Fighter on three occasions, as a head coach against Rich Franklin in The Ultimate Fighter 2, as a guest coach for Jens Pulver in The Ultimate Fighter 5 and as head coach against Matt Serra on the The Ultimate Fighter 6.