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Tag: Renzo Gracie

Renzo Gracie Isn’t Going to Pretend That Rolles Didn’t Look Terrible at UFC 109


(Funny, I don’t remember this position being taught in those Gracie Jiu-Jitsu instructional videos. Photo courtesy of UFC.com.)

Being a Gracie in MMA is a little like being a Kennedy in American politics – for better or worse, there are certain expectations. We realize Rolles Gracie had only his fourth professional fight at UFC 109 on Saturday night, so we didn’t expect him to burst on the scene like the second coming of Rickson. We did, however, expect him to beat a guy who took the bout on a few days’ notice, and whose most significant career win thus far was a knockout of Houston Alexander in January.

For the first few minutes things seemed to be going as planned. Then Rolles turned into an exhausted zombie, plodding flat-footed and open-mouthed around the Octagon before eventually giving up altogether and lying flat on his stomach as he waited for the referee to get bored enough to stop the bout.

A lot of trainers might try and soft-pedal their disappointment out of regard for the guy’s feelings after a fight like that. Renzo Gracie is not one of those trainers. Talking to GracieFighter.com, he called the performance “embarrassing,” adding:

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Photos: UFC 112′s Headliners Gather in Abu Dhabi

Vitor Belfort Renzo Gracie BJ Penn Frankie Edgar Anderson Silva UFC 112

Frankie Edgar BJ Penn Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

Vitor Belfort, Renzo Gracie, BJ Penn, Frankie Edgar, and Anderson Silva pose for pictures in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, while Ferrari World looms in the background. Photos courtesy of the UFC 112 Facebook page. More shots after the jump…

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Renzo Gracie’s Only Problem Is His Wife’s Complaining

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.

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Matt Hughes Easing Back Into Training Like an Old Man Into a Hot Bath

Matt Hughes Cindy Crawford
(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.

Hughes says he’ll be doing some of his training out in Utah with Matt Pena, Demarques Johnson, and his “ground wizard,” Jeremy Horn (seen here overseeing the execution of a fat kid). Either this is a sign that Hughes is looking for any excuse to get out of changing diapers, or else he realizes that he needs a good showing against Gracie if he wants to stick around in the UFC without becoming fodder for the young bucks. Just from what he saw while kicking back and watching Spike TV, he seems like he might be a tad concerned about how the UFC will guard his legacy in the years to come:

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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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