CHICAGO – Matt Hughes, one of the great fighters in the brief history of mixed martial arts, announced his retirement as an active fighter Thursday to accept an executive position with the UFC.

A UFC Hall of Famer and ex-welterweight champion, Hughes was named vice president of athlete development and governmental relations at a news conference at the United Center.

Though UFC president Dana White spoke of a fighter code of conduct in announcing Hughes' appointment, Hughes sees his role primarily as a liaison between fighters and the UFC.

Hughes will counsel new UFC fighters and serve as a go-between in disputes with management.

"That whole situation with Jon Jones and UFC 151, I think I could have had a big impact there," Hughes said of an event that was ultimately canceled when Jones refused to fight Chael Sonnen on short notice.

"I would have talked with Dana to get his take on the whole thing, and then I would have gone over and had a talk with Jones to hear what he had to say. I might have said, 'Hey Jon, you know, this fight is one maybe you ought to take, because it's not that bad,' or I might have gone over to Dana and told him that Jon had a pretty good point for not wanting it. But that's kind of what I see me doing."

[Also: 'Rampage' Jackson's UFC swan song begins with sponsorship snafu]

There will undoubtedly be issues as Hughes adjusts to life as an executive and the UFC tries to develop and clarify its code-of-conduct policy. There is no perfect policy, but something establishing standards – in writing – has long been needed.

Ike Lawrence Epstein, the UFC's chief operating officer, said the company looked at similar models from the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, the Association of Tennis Professionals and the Women's Tennis Association and other organizations.

"We didn't take everything from one, but we tried to piece together the best aspects of all of them," Epstein said.

But coming up with some sort of standard is critical.

White said the UFC isn't trying to stifle fighter opinion and thus isn't looking to fine fighters for expressing unpopular sentiments publicly.

Women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey created a stir when she tweeted a link to a video that suggested the mass murders at Sandy Hook Elementary School were somehow part of a government conspiracy to stir anti-gun sentiment.

In a tweet, which she has since deleted, Rousey called the clip "an extremely interesting must-watch video." Later, Rousey apologized for the tweet, which was clearly insensitive and in poor taste.

[Also: Flyweights Demetrious Johnson and John Dodson fight for respect]

Hughes isn't going to become the leader of the thought police, though. He's going to help establish a standard of professionalism that fighters must meet.

The issue of establishing a code of conduct is significant and long past due.

"If you guys only knew how much [expletive] happens every day," White said. "That's the stuff you see. That's the stuff that's public that happens. There's stuff that is not public that happens every day where I get phone calls and have to [get involved]. These guys are human beings and life isn't perfect. … Now, it doesn't matter what a code of conduct says, people are going to have opinions.

"If you look at Joe Rogan, our announcer, he's the biggest marijuana advocate in the world. I don't like drugs at all, even marijuana. Different people have different opinions. Ronda didn't go out and say the Sandy Hook thing is a hoax. She tweeted a video that had 20 million views. Twenty million other people watched that, too. Maybe she's a conspiracy theorist. Maybe she thinks people didn't walk on the moon. There are people out there like that."

So, the UFC will rely on Hughes to work with the fighters to create standards of conduct that will be enforced.

Part of that, Epstein confirmed, will be to continue to examine its policy toward the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Epstein said the UFC wanted to find a solution and suggested one way might be to force fighters to obtain and keep a biological passport.

Other popular content on Yahoo! Sports:
Lakers will pay for doubling down on D'Antoni-Nash reunion
NCAA's botched handling of Miami case strengthens case for athlete endorsements
The San Francisco 49ers' 16 most significant non-Super Bowl games since 1977

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Frank Mir, Fedor Emelianenko take heavyweight division back to the future (Yahoo Sports)

  • 19 days ago
  • 2 views

From Yahoo Sports: A potential matchup between a resurging Mir and a returning Fedor has MMA fans salivating. read news >>

Frank Mir, Fedor Emelianenko take heavyweight division back to the future (Yahoo Sports)

  • 19 days ago
  • 1 views

From Yahoo Sports: A potential matchup between a resurging Mir and a returning Fedor has MMA fans salivating. read news >>

UFC hires Eric Winter, former Yahoo executive, to help oversee UFC Fight Pass

  • 7 days ago
  • 1 views

The UFC announced Tuesday the hiring of Eric Winter, a former Yahoo executive and head of Rivals.com, to the position of Senior Vice President and General Manager of UFC Fight Pass. Winter is expecte read news >>

Ronda Rousey's continued dominance puts focus back on potential 'Cyborg' bout (Yahoo Sports)

  • a day ago
  • 12 views

From Yahoo Sports: The table's set for a Ronda Rousey-Cristiane 'Cyborg' Santos superfight, if 'Cyborg' wants it bad enough. read news >>

Ronda Rousey's continued dominance puts focus back on potential 'Cyborg' bout (Yahoo Sports)

  • a day ago
  • 3 views

From Yahoo Sports: The table's set for a Ronda Rousey-Cristiane 'Cyborg' Santos superfight, if 'Cyborg' wants it bad enough. read news >>

Costas Philippou retires from UFC

  • 27 days ago
  • 4 views

Well, you can't say we didn't see this coming. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight Costas Philippou, 35, has retired from active mixed martial arts (MMA) competition following a unanimo read news >>

How Chad Mendes beating Conor McGregor would hurt UFC (Yahoo Sports)

  • 28 days ago
  • 2 views

From Yahoo Sports: It’s been a tough few weeks for the UFC, and a Mendes victory on Saturday wouldn’t help matters. read news >>

UFC middleweight Costas Philippou retires

  • 27 days ago
  • 32 views

After it was previously noticed that Costas Philippou had been removed from the UFC rankings, it has been confirmed that he's retired from the sport. Earlier on Tuesday it was noticed that Costas Phi read news >>

UFC Hall of Famers Matt Hughes, Frank Trigg on whether drug cheats will ruin their era

  • 28 days ago
  • 11 views

Several UFC Hall of Famers can agree that performance-enhancing drugs played a prominent role in the time they fought, whether or not they affected the action inside the cage.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Injury forces Tyrone Spong out of WSOF 22

  • 28 days ago
  • 19 views

Tyrone Spong's injury woes continue. According to World Series of Fighting executive vice president Ali Abdel-Aziz, a knee injury has forced Spong (2-0) to withdraw from his Aug. 1 fight against Mike read news >>