In 2006, the Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient was awarded to Matt Hughes.
Matt Hughes, a 1992 graduate of Hillsboro High School and current UFC welterweight champion, was selected to receive the 2006 Distinguished Alumni Award from Hillsboro Community Unit School District Educational Foundation.
Hughes, 32, a two-time state wrestling champion in high school and All-American wrestler in college, has gained notoriety world-wide and is a household name among mixed martial arts fans. He first won the Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight belt in November 2001 and has successfully defended his title seven times. On May 27, Hughes defeated UFC legend, Royce Gracie, before a sell-out crowd at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. He is pictured on the cover of the new issue of Grappling magazine and is also featured in the June issue of Muscle & Fitness. Hughes attended and wrestled at Belleville Area College, Lincoln Junior College and Eastern Illinois University, where he was assistant wrestling coach for three years. He has been training and fighting professionally since 1999.