In a surprise announcement on Friday evening, former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame during the organization’s 2010 Fan Expo in Las Vegas, NV. Unlike in previous ceremonies, the UFC opted to keep this year’s nominee a secret.
Hughes joins an exclusive club which currently houses the likes of Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, Randy Couture, Mark Coleman as well as last year’s inductees, Chuck Liddell and Charles “Mask” Lewis of TapouT Clothing.
The former two-time 170-pound king, who is expected to face Ricardo Almeida on August 7th at UFC 117, owns an impressive 44-7 record and has won his last two scraps in uneventful fashion.
Hughes defeated Carlos Newton at UFC 34 in 2001 to capture his first welterweight crown. He went on to defend the belt five times before losing to BJ Penn in 2004. The upset loss was obviously a major disappointment, however it only took him two fights to recapture the vacant title when he defeated Georges St-Pierre at UFC 50.
Hughes went on to defend his title three more times before getting knocked out by GSP in their mulligan at UFC 65. Since the November 2006 loss, he’s compiled a mundane 3-2 mark.
Although he experienced the best years of his career under the tutelage of legendary coach Pat Miletich, MMA’s original country boy left Miletich Fighting Systems in late 2007 to form The H.I.T. Squad (Hughes Intensive Training) with Strikeforce’s Robbie Lawler.