UFC legend Matt Hughes finally hung up the gloves a few months ago to take a front-office spot with the UFC. The new Vice President of Athletic Development and Government Relations joined a radio show on BJPenn.com to talk about the aspects of his job, give his assessment of MMA getting legalized in New York, and share his thoughts on a few current issues in MMA. He started off by explaining the two parts of his job, the first being Athletic Development.
"Athletic Development is very new to the UFC. It could deal from everything from life before the UFC, life after the UFC, life during the UFC."
"Making someone a better athlete all the way to financial development, helping guys figure out what they’re going to do with their money they make in the UFC."
Then moved onto the second part:
"Government Relations is very easy, I’ve been doing that for years. I just try to talk positive, and answer any questions somebody had about the safety or the sport at all."
Seems fairly simple. He didn't address the UFC Code of Conduct, which Hughes apparently helped to create. But the stuff he will be doing seems like it's quite important for the organization and could be a big help to the fighters.
He then moved onto MMA's situation in New York, and he's optimistic that it will be legalized soon:
"Definitely in three years, next two years I’d say 50-50, this year I’d say 75% against it. But it will happen, there’s no doubt about it."
"UFC is always working on getting, if not legal, better rules in states for the fighters in the UFC."
Finally, he was asked about the eyepokes at UFC 159, and had a different view than most when it came to blaming the gloves currently used in MMA:
"I don’t see how you can blame it on the gloves. It comes down to the fighters making mistakes with their hands."
While the gloves certainly don't help matters, he does make a good point here. We'll have to see how Hughes' job evolves over time and what he does to help fighters, but you can always count on the Hall of Famer for a unique point of view on things.