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Old 06-05-2009, 03:27 AM
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Default Should Matt Retire?

I'm back in Afghanistan and my two week trek back to the good ol US of A couldn't have been better. Of course as soon as I arrived back here I had quite a few folks asking about the fight and wanted details and pictures and everything that goes along with going to an event that captures peoples attention. There has been one reoccurring theme in most of my conversations around UFC 98 and that is the one of Matt's decision not to retire. Some are surprised and some question if this decision is right. With the recent “Changing of the guard” talk and Matt's recent losses to GSP and Alves there is a perception by some that Matt should pass the torch and stop trying to carry it himself. I whole hardly disagree with this. Since bringing facts together to paint the full picture is what I do for a living … let me lend a bit of my analytical insight into this russel of discussion that is creeping around the Hughes camp.

Like I said, I have had a few of these convo's in the few days I've been back and read a few things here and there on the internet. Most people I talk to just ask if Matt's age is hurting his ability to compete at the level the UFC offers and of course my answer is “no”. After a few base reasons of why I believe this, they seem to easily agree with my reasoning and move on. I did however have a fellow analyst, who is quite the MMA fan and chose to mentally spar with me on this subject. (I think more or less he did it just to get me going rather then any real convection to his option. Kinda like a Cardinals fan ribbing a Cubs fan just to get under the skin.) The basics of his argument boiled down to two issues:

1)Matt's age is a factor that can't be ignored according to him. Eventually younger fighters, even without the skill and experience of a vet, will have an advantage just based on what their bodies can do. He gave the examples of Chuck and Randy and Shamrock so on ….. this is the “changing of the guard” talk I referred to earlier.
2)Matt Serra was not the same caliber of fighter that Matt has his two most recent losses to. He wanted to know what was the bases for my belief that Matt could still be considered a player for the WW belt.

Admittedly I was annoyed at these presumptions, which in part was his goal … but again were also formed out of just surface knowledge of issues and nothing of real substance. Since these questions also might be on the minds of some other fans of Matt, ( I read a few on the blog post) I figured I'd share my responses to him, that by his own admission trumped his poorly thought out conclusions.

1)I started with Matt is not as old as Chuck (39), Randy (44) or any of the others he named. Four or five fighter years can be measured like dog years …. they multiply. Matt being only at 35 and the way he takes care of his body still makes him a contender against the most skilled 24 year old in the realm of speed, agility and strength. I have no doubt about that.

My answer to this question prompted his second question of, well how do you explain those recent losses?

2)I responded what I see as true around those last two losses. Now let me caveat this with I'm not making excuses for Matt not winning. Losses happen. I am however examining all the critical facts around those events to address the questions some have of, “Should Matt retire?” First the loss to greasy Georges at UFC 79. This fight was originally going to be the fight with Matt Serra. After training for the Serra fight, Serra had to pull out last minute because of a back injury. Now with all of the Hughes fans weeks away from the event and we all already had non-refundable plane tickets, hotel reservations and event tickets with no other purpose for going other then to see Matt, him not fighting would have caused an unquenchable uproar that would probably still be heard in the highest level of the heavens to this day. Matt wanting to put on a good show, came forward with the grudge match against GSP to give us all something to ease our Serra pull out woes. GSP is a totally different style of fighter then Serra and it effects your game. Also ….. he was greasy. I believe that if Matt had the right time to train for greasy Georges … he'd have his number. The Alves fight still puts a fire under me in that I think his camp did some strategic posturing before the event to give him an edge in the fight. The facts around that are that Alves was coming off a suspension for the illegal use of diuretics and at UFC 85 he came in to a HEADLINE fight 4 pounds over weight. Other facts around this include this was also a short notice fight in that Matt was filling in for Chuck who had to pull out with an injury at the last minute. The UFC needed a fighter with a built in draw for the British fans. Matt was that answer. Cutting weight before a fight is apart of the fight game and effects your ability to perform the next day. Alves already proved that he needed help in cutting by using illegal substances to assist him in previous bouts. The strategic posture I believe coming from the Alves camp was that they knew Matt wouldn't back out of this fight if Alves didn't make weight. Matt wouldn't leave the UFC or Dana hanging like that … and a win over Matt was greatly needed to advance Thiago's career as a major contender for the belt. Being four pounds over in a HEADLINER fight to me shows they didn't really try. Thiago monopolized on the circumstances around the fight to come in at an advantage against Matt. Besides that fact and the short notice to fight over seas, the flying knee didn't knock Matt out. I've watched the DVD over and over. It was Matt's knee turning at a 90 degree angle on the fall down. Matt's already proven he can take damage to deal it. It was just a bad fall. I would love to see this rematch.

Again I'm not making excuses. A loss is a loss is a loss and I'm sure Matt probably doesn't really care about what people are saying about his decision not to retire. These are also 100% my opinions . . . But, I think it's only fair that a man that has given us 50 extraordinary professional fights in his career, out of which 43 he had his hand raised at the end, deserves a little bit more credit in supporting his decision to not hang it up. Matt is a competitor and he'll continually evolve his game to meet to challenges ahead. When he does make the decision to stop fighting, it will be at the right time for the right reasons.

In the mean time .. us die hard Hughes fans love this decision and still have at least one more call to war to get ready for.

St. Louie … here we come....
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:01 AM
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Ok, now that ran a little too long for me ( as you may have guessed) but I got the "jist" of it. I really, in my heart, believe that Matt should do whatever he wants to do but in many ways, I agree with your friend.
Todays fighters are different.They started younger and were taught every MMA there is from day one.They seem to be more "hungry" then Matt ever seemed to be and I believe that has been because...well...Matt Hughes has a life Seriously, when he's not training for a fight he just has so much to his life.Most of the other up and comers...fighting is their life.When they aren't training and fighting they are promoting via clinics mma movies, games. Like I said, it's their life. So, for a few short years, they are on top.
It's unrealistic to think that someone, even Matt Hughes can stay on top forever.And as with anything, age is going to matter as the years go by.
I'll pick Matt over anyone any day but there has been a fight or two that I was worried ( GSP the second time & Alves) but I'll back Matt Hughes to the day I die but that's because I'm a nuthugger and not afraid to admit it Besides...look at that record!
Someone being your friend doesnt make them better, younger,stronger,faster,more skilled.With that said I'll be cheering for Matt, yelling at him to get up if he gets knocked down, lose my appetite when he's getting ready to fight and wear my Team Hughes tshirt til the last thread tears.

WAR HUGHES!
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattHughesRocks
Ok, now that ran a little too long for me ( as you may have guessed) but I got the "jist" of it. I really, in my heart, believe that Matt should do whatever he wants to do but in many ways, I agree with your friend.
Todays fighters are different.They started younger and were taught every MMA there is from day one.They seem to be more "hungry" then Matt ever seemed to be and I believe that has been because...well...Matt Hughes has a life Seriously, when he's not training for a fight he just has so much to his life.Most of the other up and comers...fighting is their life.When they aren't training and fighting they are promoting via clinics mma movies, games. Like I said, it's their life. So, for a few short years, they are on top.
It's unrealistic to think that someone, even Matt Hughes can stay on top forever.And as with anything, age is going to matter as the years go by.
I'll pick Matt over anyone any day but there has been a fight or two that I was worried ( GSP the second time & Alves) but I'll back Matt Hughes to the day I die but that's because I'm a nuthugger and not afraid to admit it Besides...look at that record!
Someone being your friend doesnt make them better, younger,stronger,faster,more skilled.With that said I'll be cheering for Matt, yelling at him to get up if he gets knocked down, lose my appetite when he's getting ready to fight and wear my Team Hughes tshirt til the last thread tears.

WAR HUGHES!
BLASPHEMY!!!!!!! SOMEONE GET A ROPE!!!!



I think that at one point in his life fighting was everything. He gave up coaching, girl friend, vocation of being an electrician, lived on is managers couch .... I think he has progressed past that and now does have more of a focus on his family (which is right) ... but he has already paid his dues to get to where he is at. I believe all of his experience allows him to adapt his game more readily then someone with just a hand full of fights under the belt.

I know he can't stay on top forever ... I just don't think forever has come yet. AND I don't think I'm looking at this through a friend filter ....
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:32 AM
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The way i see it , Matt will hang em up when Matt wants to hang em up . Noone will decide that but him and noones presumtions will persaude him one way or the other.

Matt has a gift, he knows it , we all know it . Its a gift that not many people are blessed with . Personally i dont want to see him retire, do i think he SHOULD retire , well that gets a big HELL NO from this guy. I have agreed with Booms analsys of the fights since i first saw them . When rogan hollered that Matt was knocked out by a flyingknee i said bull****. That knee clearly hits Matt in the shoulder and doesnt come within 3 inches of his head. Like Boom said , it was a bad fall and alves took advantage of it as any fighter would do , plus i also agree that coming in overweight was part of his gameplan , Slip n SlidePierre is self explanitory.

When it comes right down to it , Matt is going to do whatever he wants to do , if the man wants to fight , then clear a path cause no bodys gonna stop him . If he wants to hang em up then ill be one of the first to pat him on the back and say good run buddy . But until that day comes , Ill wait for the next bout to be called.

I tell ya what i get a kick out of . Living in a small town folks know who knows who etc etc . Leading up to Matts fights is pretty neat , the amount of support he gets from folks that dont post on the internet , or have never met him that he doesnt know about is amazing . For instance , for this last fight at 98 , 3 weeks out from the fight , i would be heading into the gas station of a morning to get an ice tea or somethign and someone would stop me ," Hey , hows Matt doin , Is his trainging going good " or , " You talk to Matt latley ? Next time you do tell him we are all pulling for him" I litterally got flagged down in the middle of the road and had a couple younger guys run up to me in the truck they said " Matt is awsome , Tell him we will be screaming for the win come saturday night" . And this wasnt a once a week occurance , it was everyday. Folks just going nuts , wanting Matt to know that they were all behind him 110%

Hes got a gift and he has been blessed , he gets to go do something he enjoys , Can live comfortably on the income , still allows him to spend lots of time with his family , and he gets to do something that brings excitment and joy to alot of other folks . Would you want to walk away from that job ? Lemme tell ya , if i had those tallents i sure wouldnt .

Sorry for the rambling , kinda incoherrant in spots but youll get the jist.
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:37 AM
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Why are you always so mean to me?



Yes, fighting used to be Matt's life...years ago.He grew up, matured, got a whole life...not looking through a friend filter....my ass


Still, like I said, I'm always going to root for Matt. I'd fight to the death for him...heck I'd even argue the point with him

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boomer
BLASPHEMY!!!!!!! SOMEONE GET A ROPE!!!!



I think that at one point in his life fighting was everything. He gave up coaching, girl friend, vocation of being an electrician, lived on is managers couch .... I think he has progressed past that and now does have more of a focus on his family (which is right) ... but he has already paid his dues to get to where he is at. I believe all of his experience allows him to adapt his game more readily then someone with just a hand full of fights under the belt.

I know he can't stay on top forever ... I just don't think forever has come yet. AND I don't think I'm looking at this through a friend filter ....
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:44 AM
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Couldn't have said it better.

And I get the same thing Mac from folks I work with, to military people I'm around. As soon as one of his fights rolls around the love starts pouring out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac
The way i see it , Matt will hang em up when Matt wants to hang em up . Noone will decide that but him and noones presumtions will persaude him one way or the other.

Matt has a gift, he knows it , we all know it . Its a gift that not many people are blessed with . Personally i dont want to see him retire, do i think he SHOULD retire , well that gets a big HELL NO from this guy. I have agreed with Booms analsys of the fights since i first saw them . When rogan hollered that Matt was knocked out by a flyingknee i said bull****. That knee clearly hits Matt in the shoulder and doesnt come within 3 inches of his head. Like Boom said , it was a bad fall and alves took advantage of it as any fighter would do , plus i also agree that coming in overweight was part of his gameplan , Slip n SlidePierre is self explanitory.

When it comes right down to it , Matt is going to do whatever he wants to do , if the man wants to fight , then clear a path cause no bodys gonna stop him . If he wants to hang em up then ill be one of the first to pat him on the back and say good run buddy . But until that day comes , Ill wait for the next bout to be called.

I tell ya what i get a kick out of . Living in a small town folks know who knows who etc etc . Leading up to Matts fights is pretty neat , the amount of support he gets from folks that dont post on the internet , or have never met him that he doesnt know about is amazing . For instance , for this last fight at 98 , 3 weeks out from the fight , i would be heading into the gas station of a morning to get an ice tea or somethign and someone would stop me ," Hey , hows Matt doin , Is his trainging going good " or , " You talk to Matt latley ? Next time you do tell him we are all pulling for him" I litterally got flagged down in the middle of the road and had a couple younger guys run up to me in the truck they said " Matt is awsome , Tell him we will be screaming for the win come saturday night" . And this wasnt a once a week occurance , it was everyday. Folks just going nuts , wanting Matt to know that they were all behind him 110%

Hes got a gift and he has been blessed , he gets to go do something he enjoys , Can live comfortably on the income , still allows him to spend lots of time with his family , and he gets to do something that brings excitment and joy to alot of other folks . Would you want to walk away from that job ? Lemme tell ya , if i had those tallents i sure wouldnt .

Sorry for the rambling , kinda incoherrant in spots but youll get the jist.
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:46 AM
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Oh Mac, your post was way better then mine and Boomer's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac
The way i see it , Matt will hang em up when Matt wants to hang em up . Noone will decide that but him and noones presumtions will persaude him one way or the other.

Matt has a gift, he knows it , we all know it . Its a gift that not many people are blessed with . Personally i dont want to see him retire, do i think he SHOULD retire , well that gets a big HELL NO from this guy. I have agreed with Booms analsys of the fights since i first saw them . When rogan hollered that Matt was knocked out by a flyingknee i said bull****. That knee clearly hits Matt in the shoulder and doesnt come within 3 inches of his head. Like Boom said , it was a bad fall and alves took advantage of it as any fighter would do , plus i also agree that coming in overweight was part of his gameplan , Slip n SlidePierre is self explanitory.

When it comes right down to it , Matt is going to do whatever he wants to do , if the man wants to fight , then clear a path cause no bodys gonna stop him . If he wants to hang em up then ill be one of the first to pat him on the back and say good run buddy . But until that day comes , Ill wait for the next bout to be called.

I tell ya what i get a kick out of . Living in a small town folks know who knows who etc etc . Leading up to Matts fights is pretty neat , the amount of support he gets from folks that dont post on the internet , or have never met him that he doesnt know about is amazing . For instance , for this last fight at 98 , 3 weeks out from the fight , i would be heading into the gas station of a morning to get an ice tea or somethign and someone would stop me ," Hey , hows Matt doin , Is his trainging going good " or , " You talk to Matt latley ? Next time you do tell him we are all pulling for him" I litterally got flagged down in the middle of the road and had a couple younger guys run up to me in the truck they said " Matt is awsome , Tell him we will be screaming for the win come saturday night" . And this wasnt a once a week occurance , it was everyday. Folks just going nuts , wanting Matt to know that they were all behind him 110%

Hes got a gift and he has been blessed , he gets to go do something he enjoys , Can live comfortably on the income , still allows him to spend lots of time with his family , and he gets to do something that brings excitment and joy to alot of other folks . Would you want to walk away from that job ? Lemme tell ya , if i had those tallents i sure wouldnt .

Sorry for the rambling , kinda incoherrant in spots but youll get the jist.
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boomer
Couldn't have said it better.

And I get the same thing Mac from folks I work with, to military people I'm around. As soon as one of his fights rolls around the love starts pouring out.

Yeah , its crazy ha ha ha . Ive never gotten into sports really , unless it involved engines and 80% of the spectators were in cut offs or overalls lol. Its sad but true . My dad is the smae way , just always had something id rather do than sit in an easy chair and watch somebody run a foot ball down field. But Matt changed that for the both of us . Ive never seen my dad get excited over anything on the television or to deal with sports. Well unless he is yelling at obama when he is talkingon tv . But the ole man was up and out of his chair and hollerin loud that night , some of the stuff i cant repeat here but thats the most excited ive seen my dad in awhile. And today after work he walks up to me and get this , he says " Hey , were can i get me a team hughes shirt, everbody else has one and i dont" ha ha ha , never thought i would see the day.

Michelle you are right on some points , Matt has a family and understandably he enjoys that more than fighting , when it comes right down to it , like i said , hes gonna do what he wants to do , and the true fans will back him whichever road he wants to take.
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:51 AM
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I think Matt should do what he feels is in his best interest. I would be sad don't get me wrong if he retired, however only he knows whats best. If he still chose to fight more power to him. Yes, the fighting styles and techniques are definitely changing....but Matt is so damn strong and he can give a good beating and he aint a punk when hit..No matter what choice he makes he will always be my #1 fighter and no one nor retirement will ever take that away...All these new and even some of the old guys need to always remember and respect his legacy.
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:53 AM
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Oh Mac, your post was way better then mine and Boomer's
Well, Michelle's for sure .......
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