After inheriting the managerial reins at the Britannia Stadium from Tony Pulis, Hughes made the acquisition of another proven frontman a top priority.
With Bent out of favour at Aston Villa, a number of clubs shot admiring glances in the direction of the England international.
Stoke were among those eager to talk terms, but ended up disappointed as Bent secured a season-long loan switch to Fulham.
After seeing Bent condemn the Potters to a 1-0 defeat at Craven Cottage on Saturday, Hughes said: "We looked at Darren but we were told he wouldn't come to Stoke - or his agent wouldn't - so that was that.
"We don't know why, but we didn't get a chance.
"If a player like Darren Bent gets an opportunity, more often than not he takes it. The galling thing is that was the only chance Fulham created and they were able to take maximum points.
"But we are going to get better and there are other games coming up that we can take points from."