Even though Alves came in over weight, he owned Hughes in their fight. I think a lot of people still judge hughes on how bad he looked against Renzo. I don't know about Shields, because his striking is so poor, but Hughes can't beat Koscheck.
If having a knee buckle equals being owned I guess your right.
Hughes can beat Alves the same way everyone else dose by taking him down and beating him up.
Koscheck is a tough fight but Hughes still has the ability to take that fight, it might not be probable but it is well with in his capability.
As you stated Shields would have a lot of trouble taking Hughes down and his striking has looked worse than Matt's IMO.
Like I said I can see Hughes getting to a title contender fight I just think the odds are he loses but I realize there is more than just a possibility he could win depending on who he fights.