Imagining an MMA Hall of Fame: The Shoo-Ins

Matt Hughes

By Todd Martin Aug 3, 2014
Matt Hughes was one of the most dominant champions in UFC history. | Fernando Allende/NY Post/Splash

Matt Hughes
Jeet Kun Do Challenge (1998, 1999, 1999); Extreme Challenge (1998, 1999, 1999, 2000, 2000, 2001, 2001); Extreme Shootfighting (1998); Shooto (1999); Ultimate Fighting Championship (1999, 2000, 2000, 2001-11); World Extreme Fighting (2000, 2000); Icon Sport (2000); Rings (2000, 2001, 2001); Warriors War (2001); Freestyle Combat Challenge (2001); Gladiators (2001)


One of UFC’s most dominant champions, Hughes ruled the welterweight division with an iron fist for the better part of five years. The Hillsboro, Ill., wrestler took to jiu-jitsu better than most in his day and used that versatility to dominate fighters from all sorts of backgrounds. His fights with Frank Trigg are regulars in UFC highlight reels; his first fight with Carlos Newton produced one of the most unique finishes in UFC history; and he submitted a young Georges St. Pierre at UFC 50. St. Pierre’s later dominance in the same division largely overshadowed Hughes’ run, but in almost any other division, Hughes would still stand as the all-time best.

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