Former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes added another chapter in his mixed martial arts legacy this evening with a third round TKO over a battered and dazed Renzo Gracie, who had been coming off of a layoff spanning more than three years in a bout between legends where R-E-S-P-E-C-T was the name of the game.
The pair threw down during UFC 112 from the Concert Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Hughes and Gracie peppered one another for the first two rounds, where punishing right leg kicks from Hughes dictated the pace of the bout.
The third and final round saw Gracie begin to grind to a halt as the tenderizing leg kicks from Hughes set up various opportunities for the former UFC champ to tee off with bone jarring uppercuts. After dropping Gracie and allowing him back to his feet several times, it was a devastating series of 1-2’s to the jawline of Gracie that dropped the PRIDE FC veteran for the last time as referee Herb Dean stepped in to save Gracie from absorbing any further damage.
“I was actually pretty happy,” said Hughes on his performance folowing the bout. “Renzo came in with wide looping punches so I just wanted to stay tight, and just keep it simple.
When asked if he thiought he should have taken a tune-up fight before stepping in against Hughes, Gracie stated, “What kind of fighter would I be if I did that.”
Gracie promises to return to the UFC in the near future.