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Royce Gracie Says He’s in Talks to Fight at UFC Rio, But Sources Say It’s Unlikely He’ll Be On the Card

("I also want a twenty percent senior’s discount on all UFC merchandise and a scooter to get me to the Octagon.")

When the UFC announced it would be holding a press conference in Brazil to announce that the promotion would be returning to the South American birthplace of modern MMA to hold its first event since Ultimate Brazil on October 16, 1998, many were surprised to see UFC 1, 2 and 4 tournament champ Royce Gracie included in the festivities.

The fact that Royce was prominently positioned on the dais between fellow Brazilian MMA luminaries Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfort and Jose Aldo didn’t rais any eyebrows,  considering Gracie’s UFC Hall of membership and his family’s history with the promotion. It was the fact that the 44-year-old, who hasn’t competed since testing positive for steroids after his K-1 Dynamite!! USA bout with Kazushi Sakuraba in June 2007 revealed that he was interested in competing on the "UFC Rio" card.

In an interview he did with Sherdog yesterday, Gracie said that he is negotiating with the UFC to be included on the card, which will likely be at least half filled with Brazilian fighters.

According to Fighters Only who spoke to a source close to the situation, "it’s unlikely" that Gracie will be included on the card, but "anything is possible possible."

The fact that in his last UFC bout against Matt Hughes at UFC 60 in 2006, the aging legend earned $400,000 for his less-than-impressive performance doesn’t exactly help plead his case to be added to the August 27 card when you figure lightweight champ Frankie Edgar only earned $102,000 (which included a $51,000 win bonus) for his gutsy UFC 125 draw with Gray Maynard.

If he is signed to fight on the card, the question is, who would he fight?

The obvious choice would be to match him up against a legend like Pele or Sakuraba as a throwback to the old days of the UFC and PRIDE, but there’s no guarantee that the bout wouldn’t just look like two old guys  fighting for a paycheck. What would be more appealing to most fans and pundits would be to have Royce fight one of the new breed of fighters like Thiago Alves, Rory MacDonald, Dan Hardy, Josh Koscheck or even BJ Penn to see if he still has the skill set to compete against adversity like he did in the early days of the sport.

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JaredB- January 14, 2011 at 8:38 pm

NinjaNerd8 Says:
Fri, 01/14/2011 - 23:33


I know you would, champ. Now back to bed. :)

Dude...come on...every time I see him fight I think about how much the pre double digit UFC guys would kick his ass. When they talk about how "amazing" his muay thai is when he wastes all his energy throwing 100 head kicks per fight that miss I cringe. He's one of the very worst fighters to ever walk through the cage door.
NinjaNerd8- January 14, 2011 at 8:33 pm

I know you would, champ. Now back to bed. :)
JaredB- January 14, 2011 at 8:22 pm

NinjaNerd8 Says:
Fri, 01/14/2011 - 23:19

Royce was a better egomaniac than he was a fighter.

Anyone in the UFC could beat him. Anyone. Sorry.


Because fuckin Amir Sadollah and James McSweeney fight in the UFC, your comment is wrong. I'd knock Amir Sadollah out in 3 minutes with my two months of MT classes.

NinjaNerd8- January 14, 2011 at 8:19 pm
Royce was a better egomaniac than he was a fighter.

Anyone in the UFC could beat him. Anyone. Sorry.
myklhoey- January 14, 2011 at 8:05 pm
@Mike Russell
ya man you make a great point, i no of the gracie challenge and what was goin on there for some time, but i geuss my point was it and i mean mma of today did not origanate there, ufc 1 was in a way a gracie challenge, thats one reason they sent one of the smallest dudes, they wanted to show that there art was the best, but that is my point wen they challenged otha people it was one skill vs antha, not mulitable arts combined in one fighta, that my man was in japan, and im sure so otha asian countrys.
but hay mike russell, im not a expert or a historian, its jus from the lill i no it didnt start in brazil, i may be rong
JaredB- January 14, 2011 at 7:39 pm
Royce would sub half the current WWs...yep. I non ironically believe this. Hate all you want.
vaicavalo- January 14, 2011 at 1:58 pm
I defend him vs Wallid Ismail
that would sell a lot of tickets here in Brazil and the trash-talk would be the best part
El Guapo- January 14, 2011 at 1:12 pm
Cain vs Abel...Bible Brawls I... Tapping Out's for Bitches
Fried Taco- January 14, 2011 at 12:52 pm
@MRuss - Don't forget the ancient Greek Pankration fights. That was way before the Gracies. And the Greeks did it naked! --shudder--
Mike Russell- January 14, 2011 at 12:43 pm
 @myklhoey. You do know that the Gracies were holding NHB competitions for decades prior to starting the UFC, right? They called it "The Gracie Challenge."Sure, you could say that the naked gladiator wrestling matches in Rome were some of the first MMA bouts, but modern MMA most closely resembles the Vale Tudo style of fighting that the Gracies created. Google Helio Gracie and read up on his fights with guys like Portugal, Kato and Kimura. He started fighting in the 30s against practitioners from every discipline from boxing, to wrestling to judo and everything in between. 
Kimbo Lesnar- January 14, 2011 at 12:16 pm
I say put in a few of the oldies in a 4 man tourney! Maybe like the shirt. Dan, Ken, Royce and Randy. Of course, this might only sound like a good idea to me because I hate the elderly.
myklhoey- January 14, 2011 at 11:40 am
mordern mma did not orignate in brazil.
it was allready and for a long time being done ova seas way befor ufc or the gracie name blew up.
i will say that with the ufc and gracies domination in the early days it helped put mma on the map, no it did put mma on the map, but then again that was just in the west, cause as i said it was happin ova seas.
lets not forget that gracie was one sided fighta as well, to say he was a mma fighta wood be a lie, he had no strikin ability or wrestlin or jodo or karate or wat eva he was a grappla and thats it.
so again to say that mma started in brazil jus cause he won the 1st 2 widly known tournaments is dumb
uzitotinbaby- January 14, 2011 at 11:35 am
Please don't put Royce back in the cage. Even the low level UFC welterweights would destroy him. Bring him in the cage and give him a watch or something, but for the love of God don't let him fight.
fightfan- January 14, 2011 at 11:34 am
This basically means that Royce wass offered about $50,000 or an amount so far below waht Royce thinks he is worth to fight. Therefore Royce says its unlikely he will fight on the card simply because Royce is probably asking for a ridiculis amount of money that the UFC will never even come close to...and they let him know what they were gonna pay him and he didnt like it
Lysol- January 14, 2011 at 11:16 am
Coincidentally, Tank Abbott is also in talks to compete on this card
RwilsonR- January 14, 2011 at 11:09 am
@ MRuss - well, if you need us to harass anyone until they are forced to change their phone#/email, just let us know. CP Nation is up to the task. If you need someone to write Dana a badass song with some handy visual aids, Steampunck is your man!
RwilsonR- January 14, 2011 at 11:05 am
So is saying Royce is "in talks to fight at UFC Rio" about the equivalent of saying that Ben is "in talks to get permanent UFC media credentials"?

I'm not sure drunk dialing Dana White and calling him 'bro' over and over really qualifies as being 'in talks.'
Eyes red as Fedor- January 14, 2011 at 10:58 am
Thiago Alves vs Royce Gracie makes no sense from a fight perspective but great sense from a marketing perspective. It'd be interesting to see how Royce would analyze Alves leg kicks and tie them back to Gracie Jiu Jitsu.
El Guapo- January 14, 2011 at 10:23 am
Give The Man what he wants!! Without Royce, there would be no UFC. Yes, the skinhead soccer kicking the Samoan dude in the mouth was an instant classic, but they needed the 160 pounder to submit 'roided out strongmen to survive more than a few shows. If Royce got stopped in the OG UFC, the guvment never would have sanctioned it again. All they had to do was replay the tooth flying into the 3rd row for a unanimous "No" vote. So yeah, hook Royce up. He deserves it.
MediocreThreat- January 14, 2011 at 10:22 am
Royce versus... Herschel Walker
omunto- January 14, 2011 at 10:21 am
haha it's gonna be hard for someone to top LOKI's comment.
joemofo- January 14, 2011 at 10:17 am
Perhaps he should commentate for the Brazilian viewers... that would be cool.
knucklesamitch- January 14, 2011 at 10:09 am
yep, that's what I always say, "anything is possible possible."
hooligun- January 14, 2011 at 10:07 am
have Royce fight one of the new breed of fighters like Thiago Alves, Rory MacDonald, Dan Hardy, Josh Koscheck or even BJ Penn - you are kidding right?
LOKI- January 14, 2011 at 10:05 am
Is it gonna be like when Rogan went off on a tangent and poor Kieth Kizer got innundated with hate mail?

Or is there gonna be a video of Ben appologizing in front of a bank of microphones like a Senator that got caught fuckin kids?