Royce Gracie is trying to get one more fight in his home country of Brazil, when Rio de Janeiro hosts UFC 134 on August 27, 2011, and he’s asking for a rematch with Matt Hughes.
The legendary winner of several early UFC tournaments has been hounding president Dana White to place him on the UFC 134 card in Rio, but no decision has been made yet whether or not he’ll be granted his wish.
“Matt Hughes in the Octagon in Rio would be ideal. He’s the one I’m after,” Gracie said, hungry for a rematch of their UFC 60 meeting which ended in a first-round TKO win for Hughes. “In that fight with him I’d gone overboard in training. Dad Helio Gracie told me ‘That’s a mistake.’”
After the loss Gracie faced some criticism for not having moved with the times and having the same kind of game he had in the very first UFC event, some twelve years previously.
“I’ve been doing Jiu-Jitsu for 44 years. I always kept my mind open to other styles but just to know what I may be up against. I’m not going to learn wrestling to try and take down Matt Hughes,” he said, before outlining his belief that it is better to be deep in one art than shallow in many.
Gracie has been out of action since a 2007 win over Kazushi Sakuraba in K-1. Following the fight, Gracie tested positive for the anabolic steroid Nandrolone Metabolite, and was suspended by the California State Athletic Commission for one year.
It was Gracie’s first fight after losing to Hughes in his UFC comeback bout, where he was finished by strikes in the first round.
White admits he hasn’t made a final decision regarding Gracie’s involvement in UFC 134 or a rematch with Hughes. For his part, Matt Hughes hasn’t made any statement whether he’d even be interested in a second fight with Gracie after a dominant performance during their first go round.
While he won’t tell Gracie what to do regarding his fight future, White didn’t make things sound too optimistic when discussing the UFC hall of famer.
“I’ll just tell you straight up, he thinks his performance against Matt Hughes was not what it could have been. He thinks he can beat Matt Hughes, and he wants that fight again,” White told reporters on Wednesday about Gracie’s wish to return to the Octagon.
As for his hopes of appearing at UFC 134, there has been no word from the promotion on whether he will be invited to fight, although it doesn’t appear likely as the card is filling up rapidly. Gracie wants a slot badly – but wants top dollar as well.
“Dana White knows what I’m worth; he knows what I bring to the table. Yes, my fight purse has seven digits!” he confirmed with a laugh.