To say that Matt Hughes rubber match with BJ Penn didn’t go according to plan would be a gross understatement. Knocked out after just 21 seconds, the former dominant welterweight champion now faces the harsh reality that his best days are now behind him.
For the first time since the loss last month at UFC 123 Hughes has spoken on his own blog about the defeat and what it means for his career.
“A lot of people have been asking about the fight and how I am doing. Of course, the fight didn’t go like I had planned it. I knew BJ was going to be in shape, but I didn’t know he was going to come in with a game plan and really look for my tendencies. I think BJ knew I was going to come in throwing my jab and I think he had a game plan for that. He hit me with a hard right hand that I never saw coming. It’s funny how styles make fights and I’m not at all like Frankie Edgar. So it just kind of stinks that BJ came off two losses and then ended up beating me in less than 30 seconds. I knew BJ was going to be tough that first round. I was trying to get him into the second and the third round where I could wear on him, slow him down and soften him up a little bit; but it just didn’t go that way.
I don’t know what I’ll do now. I’m definitely going to take the winter off and some of the spring. I had three fights this year, so I’ve just got some other things I want to do; but I will say that this was one big step closer to retirement for me.”
Retirement has been something that Hughes has mentioned before, so it’s not surprising to see him bring it up again. It’s tough for a proud champion to call it a day after such a devastating loss though, so it may well be that Hughes will look to make amends in 2011 before finally calling it a day.