by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Royce Gracie Returns To The UFC
By Damon Martin, MMAWeekly
As first reported here on MMAWeekly, the legendary Royce Gracie will be making his return to the octagon as he takes on current welterweight champion and possibly the most dominant fighter in UFC history, Matt Hughes.
First reports were that this fight would take place at 175lbs with regular Nevada State Athletic Commission rules in place, which means Gracie would not be able to use his jiu-jitsu gi or set time restraints as he has in some of his fights with K-1, but it was stated that it will be a welterweight fight, so we will have to wait and see if it is indeed for the 170lb title.
Gracie is a living legend of the UFC, who ruled the octagon for many events when the sport was still in its infancy. Royce Gracie was able to fight off opponents who were sometimes twice his size with his tenacity, heart and undeniable submission skill. He was one of the original men who made other fighters learn to fight on the ground when so many came into the UFC expecting a stand-up war. Gracie’s only loss in the UFC came when after exhaustion from an earlier match, he had to throw the towel in before fighting Harold Howard.
Now after fighting very sporadically over the last few years, Gracie will try his hand at the new UFC and his first fight back will not be an easy test. Matt Hughes is as dominant a champion as the UFC has seen in the past few years, and minus a loss to B.J. Penn in 2004, he has simply been unbeatable.
Royce Gracie is still one of the most recognizable names in all of MMA and his return is sure to draw a big crowd and some very big pay-per-view numbers for the UFC. Matt Hughes, for as great as he is in his own right, understands what this match means to his career.
“I’ve never fought a legend,” said Hughes about his opponent. “Royce Gracie’s a legend.”
While Hughes has made the octagon his home over the last few years, it was Royce Gracie who built the foundation for the UFC.
“This is my house, I built it,” Gracie commented when asked how he felt about the growing popularity of the UFC.
It will be very interesting to see how the legendary Royce Gracie is able to adapt his game to the new rules and regulations of the UFC and how he will deal with the ultimate power and strength of Matt Hughes.
We will all see when the fight happens in May.