Dana White, President of the UFC, announced the news on Thursday. In addition to the announcement, Dana White also revealed that they will be implementing a formal, written code of conduct for all their athletes. It will be part of his role as the new Vice President of Athlete Development and Government Relations to make sure the fighters comply with the code, and in some cases, serve as a mentor.
“It’s funny the path God puts you on. What started out as a hobby brought me to the UFC and [to this place] in front of you now,” Hughes said at Thursday’s press conference. “I love this sport, and the new position is the best way for me to stay in it moving forward. I look forward to using my experience to provide perspective to both the UFC and the fighters.”
Matt Hughes, a member of the UFC Hall of Fame, started his MMA career back in 1998. He went on to win 22 of his first 23 fights. He first captured the UFC welterweight title with a victory over Carlos Newton in 2001, going on to defend it five times and cementing his name as one of the greatest champions in the history of the organization. After he dropped the title to B.J. Penn, he reclaimed the vacant title with a win over current welterweight champ, Georges St. Pierre at UFC 50.
Hughes successfully defended the belt twice more before relinquishing the title for the final time to Georges St. Pierre in 2006. Following that defeat, Matt Hughes slowly fell from the ranks of the elite, losing three of his next four fights. He would go on to post three straight victories against lesser competition in 2009 and 2010, but he finished his career with back to back knockout losses to B.J. Penn and Josh Koscheck.