At what point in a fighter’s career is it considered cruel and unusual punishment to allow them to compete? Sure, Randy Couture fought until he was 47, and Dan Severn is still beating up any homeless person that accidentally stumbled into the cage for a pint of Guinness and a pat on the back, but those gents are simply the exceptions that prove the rule. Guys like Ken Shamrock, on the other hand, are doing nothing more than shortening their lifespan each time they step into the ring, and for what? An attempt to recapture some former glory, or a feeling of youth? We know it damn sure isn’t in the hopes of recapturing a title, but then again, a passion is a passion, and if an obviously past their prime athlete wants to continue fighting at the detriment of their own health, who are we to say otherwise? It’s up to the promoters to cut them loose, not the fighters, and as we’ve seen in the story of Scott Hall, sometimes it is these very promoters who seem unable to make that distinction.
We’re rambling, of course, about the reports that BJJ/coaching legend Renzo Gracie is preparing for a second run in the UFC. At age 45.
Now, we’re not here to bash a freakin’ Gracie of all people for wanting to give the UFC another go, but this just seems like a terrible idea in every sense of the word. For starters, Gracie has been inactive for over two years. Secondly, the last time he did step into the octagon, he made Matt Hughes look like Mirko Cro Cop circa 2005, getting picked apart on the feet until getting mercifully put out of his misery late in the third round. And the fact that he looked completely gassed en route to that TKO loss doesn’t bode well either. For Christ’s sake, Gracie’s last legit win came all the way back in December of 2006 when he scored a split decision over fellow IFL coach Carlos Newton.
But despite all of this, Gracie told MMAJunkie that he was “getting ready to fight again,” stating:
I have a six-fight contract with no predetermined time frame. I still have five fights to go, so I plan to jump back into it. I love this sport. The day that a promoter won’t book me to fight, even for free, that’s when I’ll quit.
Well, if that is truly Gracie’s stance on the matter, then we’d like to wish him the best of luck. But does he honestly expect to compete FIVE MORE TIMES in the sport’s highest promotion? That’s a freaking death sentence.
We can’t even believe we’re asking this, but who, if anyone, would you like to see Gracie face if he is actually called back to the UFC? Put us in the camp that wants to see the UFC resign Pat Militech and have these two square off once again, because why not at this point?
Hell, they could set up a whole senior’s league if they want. Just think about it: pay-per-views could start airing at 3 p.m., and the participants could fight for a year long membership to the Old Country Buffet. Kazushi Sakuraba could reignite and old rivalry, and we could finally be treated to a trilogy match between Tank Abbott and Scott Ferrozzo. Sounds like a plan, does it not?