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Matthew Allen Hughes (born October 13, 1973), is a professional mixed martial arts fighter and former 2-time UFC Welterweight Champion. Hughes put together two separate six-fight winning streaks in the UFC, won the welterweight title on two occasions and defended the belt a record seven times. He is tied with Chuck Liddell for the most wins in the UFC with 16.[1]

A long-time member of Miletich Fighting Systems, Hughes left the Miletich camp in late 2007 to start Team Hughes. Team Hughes fights out of The H.I.T. Squad (Hughes Intensive Training), a Granite City, Illinois gym, which he co-owns with Robbie Lawler, Matt Pena and Marc Fiore.[2]

Early lifeEdit

Matt Hughes was born in Hillsboro, Illinois.[3] Hughes has two siblings, a sister and his twin brother Mark. He and Mark spent a lot of time on the family farm in their childhood. During their high school days, they both played football and wrestled.[4]

Matt went to college at Southwestern Illinois College, a two-year college located in Belleville, Illinois before transferring to Lincoln College, in Lincoln, Illinois and then on to Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois. His freshman and sophomore years, he made the NJCAA All-American Team, and his final two years he was listed on the NCAA Division I All-American Teams.


Hughes was a two-time 145 lb IHSA (Illinois High School Association) Class A state wrestling champion. He won in 1991 and 1992 while attending Hillsboro (IL) High School. Furthermore, Matt is a two-time Division I All-American wrestler, with an 8th and a 5th place finish in the 158 lb division.

Hughes has competed in the prestigious ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship, in which he held a record of 2–2. This consists of wins over Ricardo Almeida and Jeremy Horn, and losses to Jeff Monson and Tito Ortiz.

Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit

Welterweight championshipEdit

Hughes won his first UFC World Welterweight title at UFC 34: High Voltage on November 2, 2001. Hughes was caught in a triangle choke by Carlos Newton, but Hughes lifted Newton in the air and slammed him to the mat, causing Newton to hit his head and lose consciousness just as Hughes was on the verge of blacking out himself from the choke.[5] After the match Carlos stated that he felt the reason Hughes fell to the mat was because he was rendered unconscious from the triangle choke.[5] This was confirmed by Hughes himself upon reviewing the tape of the match Hughes can be heard telling his corner after the fight "I was out." In their subsequent rematch, Hughes won by technical knockout when he successfully trapped Newton in a modified crucifix position, which allowed him to rain unanswered blows on Newton's defenseless face.

He successfully defended his championship belt several times thereafter, defeating Hayato Sakurai, Carlos Newton (in a rematch), Gil Castillo, Sean Sherk, and Frank Trigg. He kept the title until UFC 46, when he was submitted by Hawaiian Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist B.J. Penn via rear naked choke. The title was vacated upon a contract dispute between Penn and the UFC. Hughes regained the vacant welterweight title by submitting Canadian contender Georges St. Pierre via armbar in the final second of the first round at UFC 50.

After regaining his title, Hughes successfully retained it in a rematch with Frank Trigg at UFC 52. After being accidentally hit in the groin early in the first round, Hughes looked to the referee for assistance; however, the referee had not seen the strike and Trigg capitalized on Hughes' distraction by staggering Hughes with a barrage of punches. The fight quickly went to the ground, with Trigg ground-and-pounding Hughes, then attempting a rear naked choke. After nearly two minutes of struggling, Hughes broke free of Trigg's choke attempt, then picked Trigg up, carried him across the Octagon, and slammed him to the ground. Hughes then ground-and-pounded Trigg before securing the victory with a rear naked choke of his own. Hughes' next fight took place at UFC 56, where he was scheduled to fight Judo practitioner Karo Parisyan. After Parysian suffered a hamstring injury and could not fight, Joe Riggs took his place. The match was originally scheduled as a title bout, but since Riggs could not meet the 170-pound weight limit, it became a non-title fight. Hughes defeated Riggs in the first round by kimura. In UFC 60, on May 27, 2006, Hughes defeated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu legend Royce Gracie in a non-title, catch-weight bout by TKO (strikes). Before the stoppage, Gracie was caught in an armlock from the side mount position; although Hughes appeared to have the submission in place, Gracie would not tap out and Hughes chose to release the hold instead of breaking Gracie's arm.


In September 2006, Hughes defended his title in a rematch against B.J. Penn, stopping him in the third round. Although Penn dominated the first 2 rounds, he struggled in the third with Hughes taking advantage. British MMA/wrestling magazine "Fighting Spirit" reported that Penn had sustained a rib injury late in round 2, leaving him gasping for air. This may explain his lack of performance in the latter round, though some attribute this to a lack of cardiovascular endurance training. Afterwards, Georges St. Pierre (who was supposed to face Hughes at this event but pulled out due to injury) stepped into the ring and congratulated Hughes on his win, but also stated, "I was not impressed by your performance."

Losing his belt to St. PierreEdit

On November 18, 2006 at UFC 65: Bad Intentions, Georges St. Pierre defeated Hughes by TKO via strikes at 1:25 of round two, ending Hughes' title reign.[6] In the first round, Hughes sustained two unintentional kicks near the groin; after Hughes went down from the second kick, St. Pierre was given a warning by referee "Big" John McCarthy.[7] Hughes however stated in his post fight interview that the second kick mainly affected his legs, rather than his groin.[8] Nearing the end of the first round, St. Pierre landed a 'superman' punch, which floored Hughes. St. Pierre then followed up with strikes on his stunned opponent.[7] When it appeared that the fight would be stopped, the bell rang signaling the end of the first round.[7] It was in the second round that St. Pierre ended the fight with a head kick which stunned Hughes and knocked him to the mat, following up with a flurry of punches and elbows that forced McCarthy to call a stop to the contest at 1:25 of round 2.[7]

On March 3, 2007, Hughes returned to the Octagon for UFC 68: Uprising, defeating Chris Lytle by unanimous decision, winning 30–27 on all three judges' scorecards.[9]

Following a championship win by Matt Serra over Georges St. Pierre at UFC 69, it was announced by UFC President Dana White that Hughes will again be fighting for the World Welterweight title in November 2007 against Serra. This fight was later changed to December 29, 2007 in Las Vegas, at UFC 79: Nemesis. On November 24, however, Matt Serra sustained a herniated disc in his lower back and had to inform the UFC that he would not be able to compete for an indeterminate time.[10] As a replacement for the Serra/Hughes title match, the UFC quickly signed a rubber match between Hughes and St. Pierre which would also be for the UFC Interim Welterweight Championship. Despite his best efforts, Hughes was unable to mount any serious offense on St. Pierre, who easily avoided all of Hughes' takedown attempts while also taking Hughes down at will and using Hughes' own ground-and-pound style against him.[11] Near the end of the second round, St. Pierre attempted a kimura on Matt's right arm that he escaped,[12] but in a reversal of their first fight, St. Pierre was able to twist it into a straight armbar with fifteen seconds remaining in the round. Hughes fought the extension, but with his left hand trapped between the mat and St. Pierre's legs, was forced to verbally submit at 4:54 of the second round.[13] In the post-fight interview, Hughes praised St. Pierre as the better fighter and stated his intention to take some time off and spend with his family.

Hughes also expressed interest in going up a weight class to middleweight to fight champion Anderson Silva if former champion, Rich Franklin was unable to beat Silva in their rematch at UFC 77, a match that Silva did win. Hughes stated that if this fight occurs, it would happen in 2008 following his scheduled title shot against Serra, although the fight with Serra has now been postponed indefinitely. He also recently revealed his intention to retire from MMA within the next few years on the second episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Hughes vs. Team Serra.

In late mid 2007, Hughes left the Miletich camp with Miletich stablemate Robbie Lawler, longtime boxing coach Matt Pena, and wrestling/conditioning teacher Marc Fiore to form The H.I.T.(Hughes Intensive Training) Squad in Granite City, Illinois.

Matt Hughes fought Thiago Alves in a highly anticipated welterweight fight at UFC 85: BEDLAM on June 7, 2008. Matt lost the fight to Thiago Alves due to referee stoppage (TKO strikes) at 1:02 in round 2. After receiving a powerful flying knee from Alves he dropped to the ground with his own left knee pinned behind his hips. He indicated during post-fight interviews that the landing did injure his knee.

Hughes has been very vocal about his career being in its twilight, evidenced by his speech after his loss to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 79, in which he hinted at the possibility of retiring in an effort to afford time to his family and a potential second book. However, a bout was confirmed shortly thereafter for UFC 85 against Thiago Alves, whom Hughes lost to by TKO,[14] ultimately leaving Hughes with a torn MCL and partially torn PCL.

The Ultimate Fighter Edit

In 2005, Hughes participated as a coach opposite Rich Franklin in the second season of the Spike TV reality television series, The Ultimate Fighter. In 2007, Hughes participated as a guest coach for long time friend and training partner, Jens Pulver during The Ultimate Fighter 5 season.

Hughes agreed to be head coach again for the The Ultimate Fighter 6, alongside former UFC World welterweight champion, Matt Serra.[15] Despite the fact that after the preliminary round, Team Hughes' record was 2–6, both Mac Danzig and Tommy Speer of Team Hughes made it to the finals.

Hughes vs. Serra and futureEdit

Immediately after the Alves fight, Hughes stated that he had "one more fight" left in him, and that he wanted to fight Matt Serra. Their rivalry stemmed from the time when Serra was a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter and Hughes a coach. Serra did not like the way Hughes criticized other contestants on the show. And was disgusted when Hughes constantly picked on Georges St. Pierre during a lunch break and bragged about his submission victory, .[16] On January 9, 2009, Hughes confirmed on his web-site blog, that UFC 98 would likely be the day he and Serra met in the Octagon. The fight was confirmed by the UFC.[17]

Matt Hughes won the grudge match against Serra at UFC 98 via unanimous decision. After the fight Matt Hughes and Matt Serra embraced each other and ended their feud. Hughes posted on his blog: "When the fight was over, I was pretty confident I was going to get my hand raised. Some people have asked why I raised his hand at the end. Actually I didn't, he raised mine. He also told me that, no matter what the decision was, he was done with the rivalry".[18] After the fight Matt Hughes said "I think I have a few more fights left in me."

Hughes signed a multi-fight deal with the UFC.[19] Hughes is scheduled to face Renzo Gracie on April 10, 2010 at UFC 112.[20]

Personal lifeEdit

Matt and his wife Audra have one daughter together and they each have a daughter from a previous relationship.[4] The couple's second daughter was born on January 2, 2010.[21] He published his autobiography, Made in America: The Most Dominant Champion in UFC History.[22]

Records and achievementsEdit

  • Most wins in the UFC (16) (tied with Chuck Liddell)
  • 2x UFC Welterweight Champion
  • 2x 6 fight win streaks in the UFC
  • NJCAA All-American Team
  • 2x NCAA Division I All-American Team
  • Defeated all but one (Pat Miletich) of the other UFC Welterweight Champions
  • Most UFC title defenses (7)
  • Most consecutive title defenses (5) (tied with Anderson Silva and Tito Ortiz)
  • Most wins in the Welterweight division

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Result Record Opponent Method Rd. Time Date Event Location Notes
Brazil flag Renzo Gracie 2010-04-10 UFC 112: Invincible United Arab Emirates flag Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Win 43–7 United States flag Matt Serra Decision (unanimous) 35:00 2009-05-23 UFC 98: Evans vs. Machida United States flag Las Vegas, Nevada
Loss 42–7 Brazil flag Thiago Alves TKO (Strikes) 21:02 2008-06-07 UFC 85: Bedlam England flag London England, UK Catchweight fight; Alves's official weight was 174.
Loss 42–6 Canada flag Georges St-Pierre Submission (armbar) 24:54 2007-12-29 UFC 79: Nemesis United States flag Las Vegas, Nevada For UFC Interim Welterweight Championship
Win 42–5 United States flag Chris Lytle Decision (unanimous) 35:00 2007-03-03 UFC 68: The Uprising United States flag Columbus, Ohio
Loss 41–5 Canada flag Georges St-Pierre TKO (Strikes) 21:25 2006-11-18 UFC 65: Bad Intentions United States flag Sacramento, California Lost UFC Welterweight Championship
Win 41–4 United States flag B.J. Penn TKO (Punches) 33:53  2006-09-23  UFC 63: Hughes vs. Penn United States flag Anaheim, California Defended UFC Welterweight Championship
Win 40–4 Brazil flag Royce Gracie TKO (Punches) 14:39 2006-05-27 UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie United States flag Los Angeles, California Fought @ catchweight of 175 lbs (non-title fight).
Win 39–4 United States flag Joe Riggs Submission (kimura) 13:26 2005-11-19 UFC 56: Full Force United States flag Las Vegas, Nevada Non-title fight; Riggs failed to
make weight.
Win 38–4 United States flag Frank Trigg Submission (rear naked choke) 14:05 2005-04-16 UFC 52: Couture vs. Liddell 2 United States flag Las Vegas, Nevada Defended UFC Welterweight Championship
Win 37–4 Canada flag Georges St-Pierre Submission (armbar) 14:59 2004-10-22 UFC 50: The War of '04 United States flag Atlantic City, New Jersey Won UFC Welterweight Championship
Win 36–4 Brazil flag Renato Verissimo Decision (unanimous) 35:00 2004-06-19 UFC 48: Payback United States flag Las Vegas, Nevada
Loss 35–4 United States flag B.J. Penn Submission (rear naked choke) 14:39 2004-01-31 UFC 46: Supernatural United States flag Las Vegas, Nevada Lost UFC Welterweight Championship
Win 35–3 United States flag Frank Trigg Submission (rear naked choke) 13:54 2003-11-21 UFC 45: Revolution United States flag Uncasville, Connecticut Defended UFC Welterweight Championship
Win 34–3 United States flag Sean Sherk Decision (unanimous) 55:00 2003-04-25 UFC 42: Sudden Impact United States flag Miami, Florida Defended UFC Welterweight Championship
Win 33–3 United States flag Gil Castillo TKO (cut) 15:00 2002-11-22 UFC 40: Vendetta United States flag Las Vegas, Nevada Defended UFC Welterweight Championship
Win 32–3 Canada flag Carlos Newton TKO (strikes) 43:27 2002-07-13 UFC 38: Brawl at the Hall England flag London, England, UK Defended UFC Welterweight Championship
Win 31–3 Japan flag Hayato Sakurai TKO (strikes) 43:01 2002-03-22 UFC 36: Worlds Collide United States flag Las Vegas, Nevada Defended UFC Welterweight Championship
Win 30–3 Canada flag Carlos Newton KO (slam) 21:27 2001-11-02 UFC 34: High Voltage United States flag Las Vegas, Nevada Won UFC Welterweight Championship
Win 29–3 United States flag Steve Gomm TKO 23:18 2001-09-08 Extreme Challenge 43 United States flag Orem, Utah
Win 28–3 Japan flag Hiromitsu Kanehara Decision (majority) 35:00 2001-08-11 RINGS: 10th Anniversary Japan flag Tokyo, Japan
Win 27–3 United States flag Chatt Lavender Submission (side choke) 32:31 2001-07-13 Extreme Challenge 41 United States flag Davenport, Iowa
Win 26–3 United States flag Scott Johnson KO (Punch) 13:24 2001-06-16 Extreme Challenge 40 United States flag Springfield, Illinois
Win 25–3 United States flag John Cronk Submission (strikes) N/A2001-05-11 Gladiators 14 United States flag Omaha, Nebraska
Win 24–3 United States flag Bruce Nelson Submission (strikes) 13:01 2001-03-31 Freestyle Combat Challenge 4 United States flag Racine, Wisconsin
Win 23–3 United States flag Brett Al-azzawi Submission (armbar) 13:27 2001-03-17 RINGS USA: Battle of Champions United States flag Council Bluffs, Iowa
Loss 22–3 Brazil flag Jose Landi-Jons KO (knee to head) 14:45 2001-02-08 Shidokan Jitsu: Warriors War 1 22px Kuwait
Loss 22–2 United States flag Dennis Hallman Submission (armbar) 10:20 2000-12-16 UFC 29: Defense of the Belts Japan flag Tokyo, Japan
Win 22–1 Australia flag Maynard Marcum Submission (keylock) 16:29 2000-11-12 RINGS Australia: Free Fight Battle Australia flag Brisbane, Australia
Win 21–1 United States flag Robbie Newman Submission (arm triangle choke) 11:40 2000-09-30 RINGS USA: Rising Stars Final United States flag Moline, Illinois
Win 20–1 Australia flag Chris Haseman Decision (unanimous) 25:00 2000-08-23 RINGS: Millennium Combine 3 Japan flag Osaka, Japan
Win 19–1 United States flag Joe Guist Submission (armbar) 12:45 2000-06-29 Extreme Challenge 35 United States flag Davenport, Iowa
Win 18–1 Brazil flag Marcelo Aguiar TKO (cut) 14:34 2000-06-09 UFC 26: Ultimate Field of Dreams United States flag Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Win 17–1 Canada flag Shawn Peters Submission (arm triangle choke) 12:52 2000-05-21 Extreme Challenge 32 United States flag Springfield, Illinois
Win 16–1 Brazil flag Alexandre Barros Decision (unanimous) 35:00 2000-05-13 WEF 9: World Class United States flag Evansville, Indiana
Win 15–1 United States flag Eric DaVila Submission (keylock) 23:24 2000-04-15 SuperBrawl 17 United States flag Honolulu, Hawaii
Win 14–1 Brazil flag Jorge Pereira TKO (cut) 16:00 2000-01-15 WEF 8: Goin' Platinum United States flag Rome, Georgia
Win 13–1 United States flag Daniel Vianna TKO (slam) 1 1999-11-20 Independent Event United States flag
Win 12–1 United States flag Laverne Clark Submission (rear naked choke) 21:35 1999-11-13 Extreme Challenge 29 United States flag Hayward, Wisconsin
Win 11–1 United States flag Tom Schmitz Submission (eye injury) 10:48 1999-11-13 Extreme Challenge 29 United States flag Hayward, Wisconsin
Win 10–1 Canada flag Joe Doerksen Submission (strikes) 20:25 1999-11-13 Extreme Challenge 29 United States flag Hayward, Wisconsin
Win 9–1 Bulgaria flag Valeri Ignatov Decision (unanimous) 35:00 1999-09-24 UFC 22: Only One Can Be Champion United States flag Lake Charles, Louisiana UFC debut
Win 8–1 Japan flag Akihiro Gono Decision (unanimous) 35:00 1999-05-29 Shooto: 10th Anniversary Event Japan flag Yokohama, Japan
Win 7–1 United States flag Erick Snyder TKO (slam) N/A 1999-04-24 Jeet Kune Do Challenge 4 United States flag Chicago, Illinois
Win 6–1 United States flag Joe Stern Submission (strikes) 12:30 1999-04-02 Extreme Challenge 23 United States flag Indianapolis, Indiana
Win 5–1 United States flag Ryan Stout TKO (towel) 25:00 1998-12-11 Extreme Shootfighting United States flag Waukesha, Wisconsin
Loss 4–1 United States flag Dennis Hallman Technical Submission (guillotine choke) 10:18 1998-10-17 Extreme Challenge 21 United States flag Hayward, Wisconsin
Win 4–0 United States flag Dave Menne Decision (unanimous) 115:00 1998-10-17 Extreme Challenge 21 United States flag Hayward, Wisconsin
Win 3–0 United States flag Victor Hunsaker TKO (strikes) 11:39 1998-10-17 Extreme Challenge 21 United States flag Hayward, Wisconsin
Win 2–0 United States flag Craig Quick Submission (strikes) N/A 1998-04-25 Jeet Kune Do Challenge 1 United States flag Chicago, Illinois
Win 1–0 United States flag Erick Snyder Submission (Slam) 1 0:15 1998-01-01 JKD – Challenge 2 United States flag Chicago, Illinois


  • (2008) Made in America: The Most Dominant Champion in UFC History. Simon Spotlight Entertainment. ISBN 978-1416948834.

Notes and referencesEdit

  2. Matt Hughes opens H.I.T. Squad, starts Team Hughes. Retrieved on 2007-09-15.
  3. Fighter Detail - Matt Hughes. Ultimate Fighting Championship. Retrieved on 8 November 2007.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Biography & Testimony. Retrieved on 8 November 2007.
  5. 5.0 5.1
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3
  8. "The second time I went down, it wasn't really because of my groin, but it affected my legs more than my groin. I don't know if it's a nerve thing or what happened." Matt Hughes, UFC 65 post fight press conference
  9. UFC 68: The Uprising
  18. Hughes, Matt. UFC 98 recap. Retrieved on 2009-05-26.
  20. UFC to make history in Abu Dhabi at UFC 112. (2010-01-27).
  21. Katelyn Mae Hughes. Retrieved on 2010-01-05.

External linksEdit

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fr:Matt Hughes nl:Matt Hughes ja:マット・ヒューズ no:Matt Hughes pt:Matt Hughes sv:Matt Hughes uk:Метт Х'юз

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