UFC Hall of Famer Royce Gracie made his highly anticipated return to MMA over a year ago, where he picked up a 1st round TKO win over Frank Shamrock. The fight was Gracie’s first in nearly a decade, and left fans wondering if they would ever see the 50 year old UFC icon set foot in the cage again.
Now, on the heels of UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes stating that he would be interested in potentially coming out of retirement, Gracie is looking to secure a rematch with the former UFC champ.
He spoke to MMAFighting:
“Man, that would be great,” Gracie told MMA Fighting. “That would be great. Everybody wants to see this second fight.”
In the pair’s first meeting in 2006, Gracie was TKOd by Hughes in the very first round. When asked what he would do differently over a decade later, Gracie stated:
“I’D BE IN THE FIGHT,” GRACIE SAID. “THE STRATEGY WAS RIGHT. EVERYTHING WE PLANNED AND IMAGINED HE WOULD DO, HE DID. BUT I WASN’T IN THE FIGHT.”
Despite his age, and rather lengthy layoff from competition, Gracie never stopped training:
“I NEVER STOPPED TRAINING, I NEVER STOPPED WORKING OUT,” SAID GRACIE, WHO RECENTLY BEAT KEN SHAMROCK VIA FIRST-ROUND TKO AT BELLATOR 149, ALMOST NINE YEARS AFTER HIS PREVIOUS BOUT WITH KAZUSHI SAKURABA, GOING 2-0 SINCE HIS UFC 60 LOSS TO HUGHES. “MY BODY IS IN GREAT SHAPE, THE MACHINE IS WORKING. THERE’S ONLY ONE WAY TO FIND OUT (WHO WOULD WIN): WE HAVE TO DO IT AGAIN.”
Hughes of course hasn’t fought since 2011, where he dropped his second straight KO loss, with his last being a 1st round KO loss to Josh Koscheck at UFC 135.
What do you think PENN Nation? If these two legends come out of retirement to fight, who leaves with the win?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/22/2017.