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Hughes: White making it easy for me to retire

ESPN staff
October 23, 2012 « Di Matteo backs Chelsea leader Terry | Chartbeat test »
Matt Hughes is a former UFC welterweight champion © UFC
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Matt Hughes says UFC president Dana White has the power to persuade him into another fight, but White's reluctance to do so is making it easy from him to contemplate retirement.

UFC Hall of Famer Hughes has not fought since September 2011, when he was knocked out by Josh Koscheck. Defeat was Hughes' second consecutive KO loss.

In his prime the former welterweight champion dominated the 170lb scene, chalking up a record number of title defences and UFC victories. However, at the age of 39 he is on the cusp of retirement, claiming White is making the decision an easy one for him.

"I wouldn't say I closed the door on my MMA career, but I got my hand on the door handle," Hughes told The MMA Hour. "It's been over a year since I fought and I am having a good time with my family and raising my kids.

"I'm having a good time at home with my family and I kind of maybe lost the desire a little bit to compete.

"I'm not retired yet but it is looks like that is the way I am going. He (Dana White) has expressed his opinion about me and says I have nothing to prove, and you know, for Dana to say that it means something because I think he is taking my best interest at heart.

"I still think he can make some money off me, put me on a card. But he is looking past the financial things and saying, 'Hey, you've been here for a long time and your good to go and can retire'. With him talking like a father and not a businessman, it really lets it sink in a little deeper than it would the other way.

"I'm 39-years-old and I don't recover the way I used to, I'm not as quick as I used to be, I'm probably not as strong as I used to be. It's funny, for the last 10 years I've been getting older and my opponents kept staying the same age."

Hughes has been a true Octagon warrior throughout his 14-year career, and he is surprised by the growing list of injury pull-outs in today's competition. In Hughes' eyes, fighters are beginning to protect their careers rather than just go out and fight.

"I do think a lot of these guys are getting a little softer to where, if they are not 100 per cent, they are going to call off the fight.

"There have been several fights, and I think Chuck Liddell would say the same thing, there are several fights when you're just not 100% and these guys today have to be 100% or they're not going to compete."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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