Matt Hughes talks to Joe Rogan following his KO loss to Josh Koscheck at UFC 135. Photo by UFC.com
Following his knockout loss to Josh Koscheck at UFC 135, Matt Hughes told Joe Rogan that he wasn't going to retire, but that he would let the UFC put him "on a shelf" and go from there, a cryptic answer since getting "put on the shelf" is a euphemism for retirement. Hughes may be looking for a couple of specific fights, and he'll retire if the UFC can't deliver.
UFC President Dana White told the media at the post-fight press conference that he thinks Hughes is playing word games (transcribed by MMA Mania):
I think he's going to retire. I just don't think Hughes wants to say the word retire, is what I think. There was a lot of talk that this was the last fight of his contract, I don't know if that's true or not because he's a guy I have never worried about last fights or whatever but, I just talked to him out in the hallway and he's going to fly out to Vegas in the next month or so to sit down and talk. But I'm pretty sure he's going to hang it up without saying retiring.
Hughes turns 38 in a few weeks. He talked about his wife urging him to retire after B.J. Penn knocked him out in 21 seconds at UFC 123, and he's been knocked out four times since 2006. You have to go back to UFC 63 to find a fight that he won over an elite opponent.
If Hughes takes another fight, expect something similar to the novelty fights against Royce and Renzo Gracie.