Matt Hughes continued to have his way with Gracie Jiu Jitsu black belts, choking out Ricardo Almeida in the first round. After knocking Almeida down with a left hook, Hughes locked on a powerful choke for the win. Hughes beat the BJJ expert with an old wrestling hold that he says he learned while competing at Eastern Illinois University. Catch wrestling standout Josh Barnett referred to the hold, which baffled announcer Joe Rogan, as a " Dave Schultz front headlock." Schultz was a former Olympic freestyle gold medalist.
The fight was a grudge match of sorts. Almeida called Hughes out after the former welterweight champion defeated Almeida's mentor Renzo Gracie at UFC 112. Hughes has had his way with the legendary Gracie family, beating Royce, Renzo, and Renzo's top American student Matt Serra. Almeida hoped to end the winning streak at three, but Hughes proved too much for the talented Brazilian.
Although many have written the former champion off, Hughes has only lost to three fighters in the last nine years: the legendary B.J. Penn, the current champion Georges St. Pierre, and an over-the-weight limit Thiago Alves. This win should put Hughes right back in the title mix.