Matt Hughes: Champions would be more 'exciting' if they looked to win a new belt rather than defend the one they already have

Esther Lin for MMA Fighting

According to former UFC welterweight titleholder Matt Hughes, the champions of today would be a bit more 'exciting' and have more 'drive' if they had the mentality of winning a 'new' belt each championship fight, rather than thinking of it as defending the one they already have.

If I'm doing my math correctly, then Matt Hughes has nine championship belts in his trophy case.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Hall of Famer and former ruler of the promotion's welterweight roost, during a recent UFC fan chat, said the mixed martial arts (MMA) champions of today should take a page out of his book and go into a title fight looking to win a new belt, rather than defend the one they already have.

"I was big on always going out and winning a new belt. I never thought of it as defending a belt. I always thought of it as winning a new one. I think when people are trying to defend, they're not as exciting and they don't have as much drive as a guy trying to go out and win a new belt."

According to Matt, by obtaining this mentality, champions will be more 'exciting' and have more 'drive' to perform. The approach worked nicely for him, so why wouldn't it work for the rest of the UFC's divisional kingpins?

Hughes recently decided it was time to hang up his MMA gloves up for good, closing the curtain on a storied 15-year fighting career as he takes on a new responsibility for the UFC as Vice President of Athletic Development and Government Relations.

How about it Maniacs, do you agree with Hughes' assessment? Do defending champions lose an excitement factor and the drive that exists in those who are seeking their first or new belt?

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