Not since the legendary Royce Gracie made his return to the Octagon to battle Matt Hughes a few years ago have we seen another member of the Gracie family do battle in the UFC, but that could change in 2009.
Rumors have begun circulating that famed trainer, coach and fighter, Renzo Gracie, could land with the juggernaut promotion early next year.
While serving as a guest on HDNet’s Inside MMA last week, Gracie confirmed that he would indeed be returning to fighting next year.
“I’m definitely I’m looking forward to next year to be back in action,” Gracie said on the show.
With over 1,000 students at his main Manhattan school and more Renzo Gracie academies opening all the time, the famed grappler has had his hands full with the day to day operations of his gyms, but he says that he wants to celebrate his 42nd birthday in 2009 with a return to MMA competition.
In his last 3 fights, Gracie has gone 3-0 with wins over Frank Shamrock, Pat Miletich and Carlos Newton. But now with both Elite XC and the IFL gone by the wayside, Gracie will have to move on to a new promotion for his fighting career.
The interest in having a member of the Gracie family back in the UFC has to be a hot prospect for the promotion and Renzo is as well respected as any fighter in the entire sport.
The Brazilian legend will likely drop to either 170 or 155lbs when he returns to the sport.
Stay tuned to the MMAInsider for more information as it becomes available.