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Royce Gracie looking to fight in 2011 at UFC event in Brazil

As reported, Dana White took the podium at a press conference in Rio de Janeiro this past week to discuss the UFC heading back to Brazil after a thirteen-year absence from the South American hub. However, while the UFC President was flanked by a number of fighters calling the Octagon home, one man stood out from the rest both in terms of the current status of his career and historical impact on the sport – Royce Gracie.

Gracie may not presently match the divisional greatness of promotional champs Anderson Silva, Jose Also, or Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, but there’s no questioning the influence he (and his family) have had on the UFC let alone Mixed Martial Arts as a whole. And, though the 44-year old Brazilian hasn’t fought since June 2007, it appears the Octagon’s return to Rio may be enough to bring him out of retirement for one last bout if the company will have him back.

According to a conversation between Gracie and Tatame, the original UFC champion is “negotiating” a possible fight in August at the event.

“(MMA) is the sport that’s been growing more within the martial arts. It’s the symbol of the sport to the world. The first is soccer, but people like martial arts, Boxing, Taekwondo, Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling… It’s what people like. It’s on our blood,” said submission-savvy icon.

Gracie holds an overall record of 14-3-3 with twelve of his wins coming by way of tap-out. He has only fought a single time in the UFC since introducing the viewing public to Gracie Jiu-Jitsu fifteen years ago, a TKO loss to Matt Hughes in May 2006. The stumble marked the first and only time Gracie has been finished inside the ring during his career with the pair of other defeats coming by way of corner-stoppage.

14 COMMENTS
  • BigDave says:

    With all due respect to Royce Gracie who is a true legend and one of the reasons I started watching MMA in the first place. I really don’t know how good an idea it is to put him back in the cage at this point. Not only is he 44 yeas old but come this event it will be 4 years since he has fought in MMA.any top 10 at 170 should be able to pick him apart at this point in his career. Maybe they could put him in with a guy like Frank Trigg who will be 40 next year and is not going to be a threat to hurt Royce but other then a fight like that it would not be a good way for Gracie to go out being beaten on by a top 10 170.

  • MCM says:

    Agreed BigDave. I actually think most of the UFC’s top 20 WW would beat Royce at this point. That’s not a knock against Royce or his age, but a compliment to how far this amazing sport he started has come. If the UFC can find a fighter that would spend most of the match grappling with him, it could at least be competitive.
    I’m thinking of someone like Matt Serra. Serra is Gracie trained, not in the title hunt, and would probably consider it an honor to roll with Royce in Rio. Fighting Gracie at this point is nothing more than an exhibition match, so I see nothing wrong with the UFC asking the fighters to try to get this to the ground to appease the fans in attendance.
    Then again, has a Gracie ever lost in Brazil? Maybe it’s not a good idea to have him enter the Octagon.

  • Angry Mike says:

    They ought to settle for having Royce commentate for the Portuguese speaking audience and appearing at the pre-event publicity events. Maybe a BJJ exhibition with well-known UFC fighters. People aren’t stupid, and they’ll perceive it as cheap exploitation to trot him out against a can. If UFC matches him against a legit fighter, Royce could lose badly, and a Brazilian audience might be unhappy to watch their hero/icon get destroyed. Hell, I’m not Brazilian, and I wouldn’t want to watch it. There’s no sport in watching an overmatched fighter take a beat down, even loudmouths like Kos or Tito.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    good call mike, he should be involved in every way except getting beaten in the ring, unless…
    they get sakuraba in for a rubber match. i know it wont happen but fuck i’d pay to see it

  • Dufresne says:

    unless…
    they get sakuraba in for a rubber match. i know it wont happen but fuck i’d pay to see it

    Hell. Yes.

  • cocoonofhorror says:

    who would he fight? one of those little 5 year olds on the tap-out commercials? he would be +230…

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    How about an exhibition grappling match with Royce and a top UFC fighter as Dave has mentioned.
    The return to Brazil would be much better served by Aldo, Nog, Machida, Wandy, Belfort, Shogun, Maia, Dos Santos,T. Silva etc etc. There is no need to bring Royce back when the UFC is filled to the brim with relevant Brazilian super-stars like I have mentioned.
    I think it would be much more appropriate if he was honored and acknowledged by the Brazilians in the UFC today in a video montage before making an appearance to wave to the crowd or something, rather than dragging him out of retirement for some sham match up.
    The Gracies deserve to be honored big time but bringing Royce back to fight is not the right way to go about it.

  • MickeyC says:

    ??? Could be tuff to pick a decent fight for him @ 170. For reasons listed in above post. If he is willing to do it old school and jump multi weight classes there are some decent old guy match ups @ 205. Maybe evan some one like D Mia at 185. The matchup would promise good JJ. I’d hate to see him get knocked out. Hey is kimo dead? Or just in jail?

  • JKDCAPO says:

    I could see an exhibition grappling match. Maybe with Demian Maia. Or BJ Penn cause Penn will fight anyone.

  • bigbadjohn says:

    Get Rogan in there! He practices BJJ. Surely he’d be honored to get subbed by a legend. And let Renzo sit-in with Goldberg and dissect the thing :) I’d like to see Royce do like Fedor and Gegard’s promotional video for M1 where they demonstrated throws and transitions to submissions. Has anyone seen that video? its wicked.

  • 3OAM says:

    Eddie Bravo vs Royce Gracie

    MAKE IT HAPPEN, JOE!

  • marc Laimon vs. Royce…that way we can end the rivalry started on TUF 4 where Laimon laughed at Royce for gettin smashed by Hughes and Serra got all pissed and called Laimon a pussy for never actually fighting….Then we could see if the cobra Kai could take out the gracie jitz…

  • elsicilian says:

    “Jose Also” … nice.

  • GIKE MOLDBERG says:

    Royce vs. Gokor in grappling only match-rumor has it that Gokor is nothing to play with on the mat

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