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Lorenzo Fertitta open to Rickson Gracie fighting for the UFC

It remains to be seen whether the legendary Rickson Gracie will ever compete in MMA again, but if he does, it appears that UFC owner and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta would welcome the man known as “The Greatest Gracie” competing in the historic Octagon for the first time.

Gracie, 50, has not competed since a 2000 bout in Japan where he submitted Masakatsu Funaki with a rear naked choke at 12:49 of round 1. The older brother of UFC 1 winner Royce Gracie, Rickson claims to be unbeaten in over 400 fights contested under grappling, Vale Tudo, Sambo, MMA, and various other rules. In MMA, Gracie was 11-0 with all victories coming by way of submission.

Despite the calls of many hardcore fans to return for one more fight, Gracie has been non-committal to the idea, yet has been very critical of today’s generation of fighters. So critical in fact that it prompted writer David Samuels to ask Fertitta in a one-on-one interview for The Atlantic to share his thoughts on Gracie’s claims.

Fertitta responded by inviting Gracie to put his thoeries about today’s fighters to the test while competing under the UFC banner.

“Let’s do it!,” Fertitta told Samuels. “I mean, that’s the ultimate test, that’s what I said, right? Let’s find out! If that’s the truth, then let’s find out! I mean, don’t just say it. Let’s do it!”

In addition to extending the invite for Rickson to compete, Fertitta was very complimentary towards the Gracie family’s legacy in the sport of MMA.

“It’s almost impossible to define it,” Fertitta began to tell Samuels when asked to define the family’s impact on MMA and the UFC. “They’ve had the most significant role that there is, ever. I mean, they created the whole way, the whole thing. They were the myth-breakers. They showed everybody that this is the most effective form of fighting.”

21 COMMENTS
  • hindsightufuk says:

    haha wicked, i love rickson, guessing he’ll never fight in the ufc, but maybe another japan show somewhere? saku maybe?

  • Bad Monkey says:

    I can’t imagine what kind of money he would want for even one fight in the UFC. Forgive my ignorance, but what weight class has he fought at in MMA?

    I’m thinking Rickson vs. Matt Hughes? Hughes already dominated Royce, so how about his big brother?

  • steve says:

    this would be interesting, although at 50 im curious as to how competitive he could be.

  • dsid says:

    Rickson has never competed in a weight-classed MMA event. All the events he competed in were open. But last I recall he weighed about 175-180 and could probably easily cut to the 170 pound class.

    Personally, I’d prefer that he never compete in MMA again. Rickson was pretty amazing, but let’s face it: he’s now 50 years old (i.e. much older than Randy) and hasn’t competed at all in MMA for *8* years now. That’s just way too long a layoff to step in and fight a high caliber fighter.

    Also, the sport has evolved tremendously since Rickson last fought. Back then he could get away with zero punches or kicks (if you watch the old fights, the guys he fought really had zero take down defense), but there’s absolutely no way he could get away with that now. Any fighter with good take down defense and decent striking would work him at this point.

    Imo he should take what happened to Royce to heart and just continue to teach his amazing brand of jiu-jitsu. He’s sort of like Michael Jordan about 8 years after retirement. He was the greatest once and I know he must feel somewhere inside that he can still get it done, but the reality for all athletes is that time marches on.

  • Lincoln says:

    This is an absolute joke.If any other organization came out with this they’d be laughed at.

  • Michael says:

    so stupid to even consider this news. i hold rickson to the same accord as kurt angle- the only difference is that rickson has actually fought before, but neither have the balls to compete in mma despite all their bs talk about it.

  • HAMBONE says:

    Rickson by armbar.

    Sorry, I had to…

  • Newport says:

    My MMA record is better than Rickson’s, I’m 500-0. There’s about as much evidence of his ridiculous claims, as mine

  • Bad Monkey says:

    Sorry Newport, but I’m 501-0. I’ve got you and Rickson beat.

  • mburtoni says:

    I recall reading an interview with Rickson where he said that Fedor is “a good fighter but not that technical” and that he was “100% sure that he could beat him.” By saying these things and not ever backing them up, Rickson is not living up to the honor of his last name.

  • Mike Wolfe says:

    Is this the BJJ version of a Rocky movie? You know, the one where Rocky breaks out of the Alzheimer’s ward and beats the world champion who is 50 years younger than he is?

  • Lincoln says:

    Yeah mburtoni also Royce testing positive for steroids for his rematch with Sakuraba and Ryan stabbing someone in a night club,and years later stealing a car and dying from prescription drugs in a jail cell aren’t good for the family honor either.

  • s00nertp says:

    As much as I would like to see Rickson Gracie in his Prime fighting in the UFC, he isnt that anymore unfortunately.

    It is like watching Randy Couture in 5 years, he just wont be able to have the same speed, etc. as he did before.

    Randy vs Rickson though? I’d love that!!!

  • tyler says:

    Lorenzo Fertitta either lost his fucking mind or was drunk when asked about this because it’s ridiculous.If another promoter said publicly they were interested in this they would be called a joke.Lorenzo shouldn’t get a pass for actually considering this bullshit.

  • DocWagner says:

    Rickson should fight in Affliction, since he has so many pointed comments about Fedor…the UFC offers him nothing…for that matter, Rickson should stay at home and enjoy Brazil.

  • Cooped says:

    When I read this, it was quickly filed in the ‘you can say whatever you want, cuz it ain’t gonna happen’ file. Of course Lorenzo was joking. Rickson has repeatedly said that he would fight anyone – for 2 million dollars. And how many fights has he had since? Is Lorenzo going to pay that? Sure, right after they cross promote the Lesnar – Fedor fight…

  • Jason G says:

    Lorenzo was thinking about the money he could make by having him fight once on a ppv and get his butt kicked by an up and comer or someone like hughes. Plus he knows that Rickson probably wants $100k to fight and they won’t give him that.

  • pioneer says:

    As much as we all would have liked to have seen Rickson in his prime that has very long since past. Lorenzo was being gracious, but it is up to Rickson to protect his name.

  • Kung Foo says:

    Rickson vs Randy would be interesting

  • tyler says:

    People stop kissing Zuffa’s ass Lorenzo wasn’t being gracious or joking.He was being a jackass.

  • cornerman says:

    If Rickson fights any one it would need to be Sakuraba!

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