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Tag: Renzo Gracie

K-1 Classics: Lesnar vs. Kim, Sakuraba vs. Gracie + More


(Props: YouTube.com/K1 via MMA Fighting)

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.

After the jump: Kazushi Sakuraba‘s rematch with Royce Gracie at Dynamite!! USA, BJ Penn’s grudge match with Renzo Gracie at the K-1 World Grand Prix 2005 in Hawaii, and Lyoto Machida’s fourth pro fight against Michael McDonald at K-1 Beast 2004.

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Matt Hughes Predicts the Demise of Strikeforce


(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 Gracie in Abu Dhabi on April 10 is a pointless bout:

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Matt Hughes Says He’s Fighting Renzo Gracie in Abu Dhabi This April


(See Royce?  We told you this would happen unless you started with your day with a hearty country breakfast, but you just wouldn’t listen.)

The rumors are true, says Matt Hughes.  On his official blog, also known as your go-to source for decontextualized Bible verses and pictures of dudes holding rifles, the former UFC welterweight champ says he’ll be taking on Renzo Gracie on April 10 in Abu Dhabi.  It will be Gracie’s debut in the UFC, and his first fight since he won a victory via disqualification against Frank Shamrock in February of 2007.  This must be what Hughes was hinting at when he said he needed a fight against someone his own age that he could get fired up for.

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.

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Matt Hughes Eyeing April Return

Matt Hughes
(Hughes isn’t even going to pretend to be interested in Dana White’s slides from his vacation to Disneyworld.  Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

Matt Hughes may finally have a date for his next UFC bout, though he doesn’t have an official opponent just yet.  According to his blog, Hughes says he’ll likely be back in action on April 10, which would put him on the UFC 112 fight card.  He says he’ll tell fans "who and where" he’ll be fighting when it’s officially confirmed.  Renzo Gracie has been mentioned as a possible opponent for Hughes, though the Brazilian later shot down reports that the two would get it on as soon as February.  The mere fact that Hughes hasn’t publicly shot down the idea of facing Gracie, as he has with almost every other plausible suggestion offered to him, is somewhat encouraging. 

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.

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Report: Matt Hughes vs. Renzo Gracie In the Works for UFC 109 in February


(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?

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Renzo Gracie Ain’t Done Yet


(If you’ve somehow forgotten how awesome Renzo is, watch 0:16-0:22 of the above clip. Props to Kostakio.)

Though he hasn’t competed since his DQ win over Frank Shamrock at EliteXC: Destiny in February 2007, don’t assume that Renzo Gracie is retired from the ring. The 42-year-old MMA pioneer, who is currently helping train Matt Serra and Andre Gusmao for their fights at UFC 98, says that he plans to start preparing for his next fight at the end of this year, right after he opens two new Renzo Gracie Academies in Connecticut and New Jersey. As he told TriStateFighter, he would happily fight for "anyplace that [would] take me…they’re willing to take an old man in, I will be there." Go here to listen to TSF’s full interview with Renzo, in which he discusses Serra’s preparation for Matt Hughes.

Bonus, after the jump: The trailer for Renzo Gracie Legacy, in which Renzo remembers Johnny Cash lyrics a little differently than we do.

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Never Surrender: The Eight Greatest Technical Submissions of All Time

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…

***

#8: Daniel Gracie vs. Wes Sims
IFL Championships 2006, 6/3/06

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.

#7. Frank Shamrock vs. Phil Baroni
Strikeforce/EliteXC: Shamrock vs. Baroni, 6/22/07

(Choke starts at the 8:35 mark.)

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.

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Renzo Gracie on Having Two Daughters and a Son: “I Have Two Problems and One Solution”

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.

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A Few Words About Renzo Gracie


Renzo Gracie Legacy Trailer – Watch more free videos

This is a preview of an upcoming documentary about Renzo Gracie, which I admit I am very eager to see. MMA Payout has an interesting interview with the director of “Renzo Gracie: Legacy” and in it you can hear how Gracie’s charisma and magnetism convinced him that a film needed to be made about this man.

Having been around Gracie a good deal during my IFL days, I can certainly relate. And because some of you have claimed an interest in wanting to read some of these IFL tales, I figured Gracie was as good a place as any to start.

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Ricardo Almeida Blames Boredom For Loss

Renzo Gracie and Ricardo Almeida
(Those wacky Brazilians. They even make the gym look fun.)

We’ve heard some great explanations for losing in our time covering mixed martial arts, but Ricardo Almeida has a new one: boredom. That’s what he says cost him in his split decision loss to Patrick Cote at UFC 86, according to Setanta Sports:

“I lost because I got bored…Whatever I say, I know it’s gonna sound biased,” said Almeida, who moved to 9-3 in his MMA career.

“It wasn’t a great fight. I felt I dominated the first round. Then I had the incident with the glove [which needed cutting], and something happened to me mentally right there.

“Even physically, I was just dead in the second round – very very tired. I felt I bossed the third, some good jabs, I got a takedown – and the only reason he got on top was because I tried the guillotine.

“My corner told me to stay on top with 60 seconds left. But I guess because the fight was so boring, I wanted to try a submission and he finished the fight on top – which probably swung it.”

You know, usually post-fight excuses are pretty lame, but this one actually has some merit in a weird way. Guess that’s why you don’t bring Almeida to your niece’s dance recital. He gets bored and it’s almost guaranteed that he’ll attempt a guillotine on you just to liven things up.

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