(Renzo owns Maurice Smith in 50 seconds at the Rings King of Kings tourney in December 1999. Fight starts at the 1:35 mark.)
We should have seen this one coming as soon as Lorenzo Fertitta "popped his tweet hymen" by asking fans if they’d like to see Renzo Gracie in the UFC. Fertitta must have gotten more yays than nays, because according to Heavy.com, Gracie is being penciled in for a scrap against Matt Hughes at UFC 109 (February 6th, Las Vegas).
Though Renzo has had a long career in vale tudo and MMA, this would be the first time he competes in the venue that his family made famous. However, he hasn’t fought at all since his disqualification win against Frank Shamrock at EliteXC: Destiny in February 2007. By comparison, Matt Hughes’s last appearance was his unanimous decision over Matt Serra in May.
At 42 years old, Renzo nicely falls into that beatable aging legends category of opponent that Hughes is currently pursuing, at the expense of more meaningful fights against those AKA jokesters. We wouldn’t say Hughes vs. Gracie (Not That Gracie) is a bigger fight than Hughes vs. Swick, but it definitely gives Matt a better chance of retiring gracefully. And in the end, isn’t that what we all want?