Sadly when he was looking his most fluid against Josh Koscheck and Almeida he was shot to bits, he got the last piece of the puzzle to late.
It sounds like you think his skills are why he is not up there right now, i would put it all down to age honestly - Hughes was a beast and would be a handful for any WW around now in his prime. With the striking of his later days and everything else of his prime he would tool anyone around not called George St Pierre.
I agree with you totally. It would have been interesting to see him with good striking then and now.