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Matt Hughes TKO’s Renzo Gracie in Abu Dhabi

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.

  • blue says:

    Must not be a lot of Hughes fans were at 5oop.

  • Yourdaddydevilandlord says:

    Hughes should just fight all of the Gracies, no matter how old they are!! Just sandblasting that family legacy, ha ha.

  • Dufresne says:

    Must not be a lot of Hughes fans were at 5oop.  

    If this fight had happened 3 or 4 years ago it would have had much more significance, but not so much now. Gracie hasn’t fought in over 3 years and it’s been even longer since Hughes actually finished a fight. It was a fun fight to watch because it was a pair of legends going at it, but you could see early on that Gracie didn’t have the cardio or conditioning to keep up.

    I liked watching Hughes dominate, but it was sort of a hollow victory in my opinion.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    this was still a good match up, maybe now Renzo drops to LW and Hughes can take a step up hopefully against Swick or Hardy and see if he still has what it takes to get back into a title hunt.

  • MickeyC says:

    renzo did not have much left in the 3rd.i’ kinda suprised it lasted as long as it did. renzo had to much time off, & @ 43 he probably does not have to many wins left @ this level of compatition!

  • Rece Rock says:

    How many more fights on hughes contract cause Im guessing as cool as it us to see a legend fight he’s getting his pick of the litter from here on out simply to have his name on the marque is valuable enough for UFC to cut him a check… Just hope he know when to eventually bow out gracefully

  • Yourdaddydevilandlord says:

    Who knows, give Hughes some up and comers. So he lost to Alves and GSP, can’t he still be a gatekeeper, I mean he was the top of the division pretty recently, I’d still like to see him fight guys on their way up wouldn’t you? That is something that bothers me about this sport, one loss and guys are given up for dead. Yeah I’d like to see the best fight eachother for the titles, but I still like seeing older legends fight, no matter if they will contend or not. Give me Taktarov vs Severn for all I care. I don’t mind if they can contend, I’d like to see those two individuals punch eachother. Same with Chuck/Tito, It doesn’t mean as much now, but fuck it, those two hate eachother and that first scene when the French fighter gave up and Chuck called Tito out about tapping out to strikes was hysterical, Dana’s face was priceless.I can’t wait to see how that all plays out and see the fight even though I know it isn’t title worthy.

  • kuboa says:

    Why did Hughes pass up so many opportunities to go in for a flurry? Too often he scored, even hurt Gracie, only to back off and wait for some kind of better moment.

  • Mike says:

    I was a little torn watching this. They touched gloves more than punched in the first 2 rounds and then it was Gracie’s conditioning that got the better of him eventually. Obviously this fight should have happened 4 years ago. I’m not a fan of Old Timer’s Day in the world of MMA.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    Why did Hughes pass up so many opportunities to go in for a flurry?Too often he scored, even hurt Gracie, only to back off and wait for some kind of better moment.  

    i was thinking the same until the third round, it made sense, perfect game plan, wear Renzo down, hurt him, take his heart then finish when he is no threat. Might not have been electrifying but propa, it worked.


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