MMA legend Matt Hughes has some free time on his hands. In December, the UFC dumped the Hall of Famer from his position as Vice President of Athlete Development and Government Relations. Like fellow presumed lifer Chuck Liddell, Hughes was a casualty of the new ownership culture. Now, he’s apparently entertaining the idea of a return to fighting and not necessarily in the Octagon, either.
Hughes has revealed that he’s “in talks” for a potential return to the sport. As reported by MMA Fighting, the subject is addressed in a preview clip for his Undeniable with Joe Buck interview scheduled to air later this year. There’s a bit of a qualifier to this potential return, mind you.
“If I could find an opponent that I could definitely beat, I would go again,” Hughes told Buck.
According to Ariel Helwani, multiple sources have indicated that Hughes has engaged in early talks with UFC rival Bellator. Fitting with Bellator’s matchmaking tendencies, a UFC 60 rematch versus fellow MMA pioneer Royce Gracie is the believed to be the target. Hughes won their 2006 catchweight bout with a 1st round TKO.
A potential Hughes return is definitely intriguing. He hasn’t fought since 2011 so the question marks about his ability to jump back in are a tad different than say a Georges St-Pierre might face. The 43-year-old former welterweight champ certainly could still be a capable fighter, but there’s is a bit of worry about the former stars that make their way to Bellator. There’s the capability for good fights and also the capability for freak show style offerings. If Hughes arrives in Bellator, let’s hope it’s the former.
(Via MMA Fighting)