Our bro-4-life Ariel Helwani ran down to Renzo Gracie‘s NYC gym to ask the most affable member of Brazil’s first family of fighting why he feels the need to come back at 43 years old to fight in the UFC. A smiling Gracie attributes it to his irrepressible love of combat, proving yet again that some guys are just born for this stuff and there’s nothing they can do about it. Gracie refers to the chance to fight Matt Hughes at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi as "an honor," and says he’s already dropped twenty-five pounds, so now you can kind of see his abs. Now if only he could get his wife to stop complaining about all the time he spends at the gym, he’d be golden.
If you watch this to the end, you’ll see Helwani asking Gracie to repeat one of his favorite Renzo-isms of all time. He complies but, much like the "Planet of the Apes" remake, it lacks the fire of the original. See what we mean after the jump.
(The best part about going to a Bentley dealership? Signing the lease agreement.)
His showdown with fellow MMA legend Renzo Gracie is still about four months away, but Matt Hughes is beginning to slowly work his way into training camp. The former UFC welterweight champ wrote on his blog that it’s not quite as easy to get into fighting shape as he gets on in years, so he’s starting early and taking it slow. As for how he’s preparing for the bout after his recent lackluster outings, Hughes seems to have figured out that as awesome as the HIT Squad and its camouflage mats might be, he needs to seek outside help from time to time.
K-1 recently uploaded some choice highlights from their MMA library onto their YouTube page, featuring early fights from current superstars like Brock Lesnar, BJ Penn, and Lyoto Machida. Above is Lesnar’s pro MMA debut against Min Soo Kim, which went down at Dynamite!! USA in June ’07. Odds are, you’ve watched this fight before — though it’s still worth a look if you’ve never seen the head-clashing faceoff and the fight’s aftermath, in which Lesnar triumphantly stalked around the cage while Kim was slowly brought back to life.
(This Christmas, why not give the gift that will rest on your child’s bedside table, silently judging him while he sleeps?)
Matt Hughes doesn’t want to alarm anyone, but he’s pretty sure that Strikeforce is doomed. It’s no one’s fault — other than Showtime, which is totally at fault — but we all might as well accept it, according to Country Breakfast. Hughes updated his blog today, discussing the disappointing turn of events that led to his bro-4-life Robbie Lawler going fightless on Saturday night. Hughes makes vague reference to Showtime’s interference in the process, and seems to believe that this will be Strikeforce’s undoing, sooner rather than later. Wrote Hughes:
Last week I was in California with Robbie, Pena, and Foster, hoping they would find a replacement so Robbie could fight. It didn’t happen and I guess I’m just spoiled being with the UFC. From what I understand, Showtime really likes to stick their nose in Strikeforce’s business and because of that I don’t think that Strikeforce will be around for much longer; but enough with that.
That’s a bummer. Especially for all the fighters planning on competing on their next CBS show in April. For all we know, Strikeforce may not even be around by then. Someone better go tell Scott Coker, but be gentle. This isn’t going to be easy for him to hear.
Hughes didn’t stop with visions of Strikeforce’s coming collapse, however. He also answered critics who say that his planned scrap with Renzo Graciein Abu Dhabi on April 10 is a pointless bout:
Beating up and aged and overrated Royce Gracie (he hadn’t won a meaningful fight in at least six years when he fought Hughes) is one thing, but Renzo might prove to be a little tougher. He’s more well-rounded, has stayed more active in the sport lately, and is known to be tight with Abu Dhabi royalty. That’s not to say that he’ll have his buddy the Sheikh fill Hughes’ locker room with scorpions before the fight, but it’s still too early to rule that possibility out entirely.
In other news via Hughes’ blog, Robbie Lawler and his wife are expecting a baby boy in February. Hughes acknowledged that the information wasn’t "quite public, but I’ve never been that guy to keep my mouth shut." It’s probably best he went ahead and told us. A quick glance at Robbie Lawler’s blog reveals that he’s written a grand total of twelve entries in a year and a half, and none since July. And here I always just assumed that Lawler’s blog would be a steady stream of You Tube clips of kittens doing cute stuff. Guess you never really know anyone as well as you think you do.
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?
It takes a special kind of cojones to stare down permanent injury and say "Eff it, I ain’t tappin’." Inspired by the DVD we’ve been plugging lately, we decided to pay tribute to the technical submission — that thrilling moment when a fighter is caught in a health-threatening submission hold, but is too stupid much of a warrior to concede defeat, so the referee has to do it for him. Because as a wise man once said, "Tapping out is for bitches." Enjoy…
After their first chaotic mess of a bout was ruled a “Technical Draw,” Gracie and Sims met again in the IFL for another technical ending. Though Sims has always had a hazy understanding of the rules in any given MMA bout, he got taken down too quickly to launch any illegal stomps in this one, and had to settle for giving up his back and then trying to grab on to the ropes (thankfully Stephen Quadros reminds him that he can’t do that) as Gracie stayed on him like a backpack and choked him unconscious. There’s nothing quite like seeing a 6’10” guy drop to the canvas like somebody just pulled his plug. Sleep well, buddy.
Thanks to Shammy’s pioneering work in video trash talk, this fight was epic before it even began. Strikeforce’s first middleweight title fight paired two loud-mouthed badasses who would never admit defeat — but unfortunately, there could be only one champion. After battering the NYBA with punches for almost two full rounds, Shamrock took Baroni’s back, wrapped an arm around his neck, and squeezed. While most men would tap to the hold, Baroni went out like a warrior, throwing punches into Frank’s mug until he lost consciousness. Shamrock celebrated his win by shoving Baroni’s lifeless body then kicking him in the ass, proving that he wasn’t just the better fighter that night, he was also the bigger asshole.
This episode of Inside MMA is worth watching purely to get to the point where Renzo Gracie begins talking about the perils of being a pro fighter with daughters. He tells a story that’s so awesome, I don’t even care whether or not it’s true. I’m not going to ruin the story by recapping it for you, but you can skip to around the 26:40 mark to see it for yourself.
If you’re curious, you can also see a scene from the “Renzo Gracie: Legacy” documentary at the 24:30 mark. I almost forgot about what Renzo did to poor Oleg Taktarov. Now I remember though, even if Oleg doesn’t.