MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

Tag: Royce Gracie

Hey UFC, If You’ve Got Any More Beatable, Aging Welterweights, Please Send Them Matt Hughes’ Way

Matt Hughes vs. Royce Gracie UFC 60
(Whaddaya say, Royce. Wanna do it again?)

Matt Hughes may not know exactly what he wants to do with the new four-fight contract that he signed with the UFC, but he definitely knows what he doesn’t want to do.  Fights with young welterweight up-and-comers like Josh Koscheck and Mike Swick?  Not interested.  A third chance at getting his first victory over Denis Hallman?  No thanks.  How about simply completing the entire four-fight deal?  No guarantees there, either.  So what the hell does Hughes want to do with the remainder of his career?  I don’t know, you got any more washed-up legends laying around?

As far as who I fight next? You know, looking at these younger kids who are wanting to come in and be the next world champion or be the next contender, I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t know if I’ll take on those guys.  There are plenty of older guys out there with big names who can fight, too. I like to take fights where I’ve got something to win. If I take a fight against Mike Swick or Josh Kosheck, I’ve really got nothing to gain from that fight besides a paycheck and beating somebody up. They’ve got more to win than I do. Those aren’t the kinds of fights that interest me.

Royce Gracie was a big fight, you know? It was a huge name, a guy that had won the old tournaments in the beginning. Those are the fights I like, the ones I can really get revved up for and get motivated. Those are the kinds of fights that gets me into the gym ready to train and work.

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CagePotato Tribute: The Wildest MMA Fighter Entrances of All Time

King Mo Sengoku Muhammed Lawal
…because without costumes and choreographed dance routines, it’s just two guys beating the hell out of each other. Booooooring!


(Future UFC champion/part-time Michael Jackson impersonator Anderson Silva won’t stop ’til he gets enough at PRIDE 22.)


("Keaton always said, ‘I don’t believe in God, but I’m afraid of him.’ Well I believe in God, and the only thing that scares me is Diego Sanchez.")

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MMA Steroid Busts: The Definitive Timeline [UPDATED With Testosterone Busts]

Is steroid use an epidemic in MMA? Or are most of the fighters who have tested positive simply the victims of inept athletic commissions, shady nutritional supplements, and tainted goat meat? After Josh Barnett’s latest chemical misadventure took down Affliction, we decided to round up every steroid bust in the sport since early 2002, when the Nevada State Athletic Commission began testing MMA fighters for performance-enhancing drugs. The results…may shock you.

Update, 11/5/13: Beginning with Chael Sonnen in 2010, several MMA fighters have failed drug tests due to elevated testosterone, without being caught for a specific steroid. To keep things orderly around here, we’ve quarantined those busts on page 2.

*****


JOSH BARNETT (Pt. 1)
Caught: 4/22/02, following his TKO victory over Randy Couture at UFC 36.
Tested positive for: Boldenone, Nandrolone, and Fluoxymesterone
Punishment: A six-month suspension from the NSAC and the loss of his UFC heavyweight title. Barnett fought the steroid charge, and didn’t compete again in the U.S. until PRIDE 32, four and a half years later. (See: Belfort, Nastula)
In his own words: “I am a fighter, not a lawyer. I am innocent, and I should be fighting right now.”
Repeat offender: Barnett actually tested positive once before, for two different anabolic steroids, following his submission via strikes victory over Bobby Hoffman at UFC 34 in November 2001. Josh was let off with a warning (which went unheeded, apparently) and the incident was never officially reported — but according to Sherdog’s Mike Sloan, Barnett’s first positive steroid test is what inspired Nevada to begin regularly testing UFC fighters for performance enhancing drugs.


TIM SYLVIA
Caught: 10/7/03, following his first-round knockout of Gan McGee at UFC 44.
Tested positive for: Stanozolol
Punishment: $10,000 fine and a six-month suspension from the NSAC. Sylvia voluntarily vacated his heavyweight title following his positive steroid test.
In his own words: “[A]fter I fought Ricco [Rodriguez], I was in for a long layoff. I decided to try some things and maybe change my physique a little bit and get in better shape. But whatever I used, it came back positive. I don’t know how that happened. I did it so long ago and I was way off it before I fought McGee. I think they found it in my fat cells. I guess it stays in there for a while, huh?…I heard what Josh [Barnett] had used, so I used something different and I was only using it to trim my physique. I thought that what I was using, it was going to be out by the time I fought McGee. I fought Gan and apparently it wasn’t out.”

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The Eras of MMA (Part 1: The Pioneers, 1993-1999)

When Joe Rogan declared the beginning of “the Machida Era” at UFC 98, the Dragon became just the latest in a string of dominant fighters who have defined MMA and its development with their unique styles. In this sport, there always seems to be one or two guys who are way ahead of the pack, just waiting for everybody else to catch up. So we decided to go back and recreate MMA’s historical timeline by “era” — starting with you know who…

The Royce Gracie Era: November ‘93 – April ‘95

If the first UFC events were “infomercials for Gracie Jiu Jitsu," then Royce Gracie was the mothafuckin’ Slap Chop. Among all the dojo theorists and tough guys of dubious origin in the brackets at UFC 1-4, Royce was the only one who knew how to finish a fight in the real world, thanks to the grappling system his family had been honing for decades. And when martial arts enthusiasts saw the nondescript gi-clad fighter control opponents from his back and submit them with an arsenal of choke-holds and arm-locks, it was love at first sight.

Famously, the 170-pounder was chosen over his older, larger, and more intimidating-looking brother Rickson to represent the Gracie family in the UFC because Royce’s success would prove that a smaller man could beat larger ones through proper technique. Though Royce would take a five-year break from competition after his tedious 36-minute draw against Ken Shamrock at UFC 5, he’d fulfilled his objective by then: America had learned the Gracie name, and the BJJ phenomenon had officially begun.

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Video Interviews: Nick Diaz, Tito Ortiz, Royce Gracie


Nick Diaz Interview – Watch more Funny Videos

Our good buddy Ariel Helwani was on the scene after Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz, and got some camera time with Stockton’s conquering hero Nick Diaz. Diaz was his usual gregarious self — making sure to never make eye contact with either Ariel or the camera — and he attributed his win to intense preparation and top-shelf sparring partners. He also says he could have finished the fight on the ground, but sometimes it’s easier just to throw punches. Does he regret anything he might have said in the buildup to this fight? Not so much, homey.

Below: Tito Ortiz (at left, with sunglasses on the wrong side of his head) says he’d love for Strikeforce to make him a big offer so that the UFC can match it. Ortiz has just finished up physical therapy following his back surgery, and will soon begin training again so he can get back in the cage in August or September.


Tito Ortiz Interview – Watch more Funny Videos

After the jump: Will we see MMA pioneer Royce Gracie return to competition in the near future? Gracie plays it close to the vest, but "anything’s possible." You can see all of Ariel’s recent one-on-ones at Break.com/ArielHelwani.

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Helio Gracie Buried in Petropolis

Rolker Royce Gracie Helio funeral Brazil MMA BJJ jiu-jitsu
Rolker Royce Gracie Helio funeral Brazil MMA BJJ jiu-jitsu
(Rolker and Royce Gracie pay their last respects to their father. Photos courtesy of Sherdog.)

Less than 10 hours after he passed away at the Beficência Portuguesa Hospital after contracting pneumonia, Helio Gracie was laid to rest in a modest ceremony in Petropolis, Brazil, witnessed by about 70 relatives, close friends and students. As Sherdog writes:

Sons Royce and Rolker led the procession, a kilometer in length, from the chapel to the tomb where Gracie was buried. At the tomb, Royce asked for a round of applause for his father and placed a black belt over his coffin.

Speaking on behalf of Helio’s son Rickson Gracie, who was unable to reach Brazil in time for the funeral, Mario Aielo said:

“Thanks to this man, there are thousands of teachers around the world making a living from jiu-jitsu and thousands of fighters making a living from MMA. Without Helio Gracie, Rorion could not have brought Vale Tudo to the US and MMA would not exist, giving jobs to many fighters, promoters and managers and fun to millions of fans around the world.”
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UFC Quick Notes: ‘Octagon’ Publicity Assault, Velasquez, Escudero + More

Octagon UFC book MMA

— Those of you who bought the UFC photography book Octagon when it was in its $2,500 limited-edition form are going to be kicking themselves right now. The coffee-table tome is now selling in a scaled-back trade edition for just $40, and UFC fighters will be making appearances this evening at Barnes & Noble locations in 20 cities to sign copies. The full list of cities/guests is here. Biggest name: Chuck Liddell representin’ in his hometown of San Luis Obispo. Smallest name: Eddie Sanchez holdin’ it down in Irvine. Sanchez still has a job? Irvine has bookstores?

— Despite the recent drama between his camp American Kickboxing Academy and the UFC, heavyweight up-and-comer Cain Velasquez will fight next at UFC Fight Night 17 (February 7th; Tampa, FL) against an opponent to be named later. Velasquez is currently 4-0 (2-0 UFC), with all wins coming via first-round TKO.

Royce Gracie will appear as a playable character in the UFC’s upcoming 2009 Undisputed video game (Man, they’re really stretching to find guys who will sign that video game agreement.) Hopefully, other unlockable players in the game will include Art Jimmerson, Bruce Buffer, and the Just Bleed guy.

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Must-See: The Three Most Thrilling MMA Fights Ever


(Fedor Emelianenko vs. Bobby Hoffman, from RINGS: 10th Anniversary, 8/11/01. Props to MMA Scraps.)


(Royce Gracie vs. Harold Howard, from UFC 3, 9/9/94. Props to Druskee27.)


(Nobuhiko Takada vs. Mike Bernardo, from Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2001, 12/31/01. Props to the late Irish Whip.)

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Read This Now: “Starting a Fight”

Gordeau Rosier UFC 1
(Gerard Gordeau stomps Kevin Rosier in the semi-finals of UFC 1. Image courtesy of Real Fighter.)

In honor of the upcoming 15th anniversary of UFC 1, Real Fighter magazine has published an incredible oral history called “Starting a Fight,” where all the fighters and organizers involved share their memories about the watershed event. You can (and should) download the article at BloodyElbow. Our favorite bits are below…

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“Big” John McCarthy: I had put in my application for it. Rorion said, “What are you doing? You can’t fight. You’re with us. When Royce is done, we’ll put you in there.”

Rorion Gracie: We thought of a ring that had a moat and we could put alligators on the outside, [or] chariots running around the ring and dropping the fighters off, people with trumpets and Roman togas announcing them. This is Hollywood.

Art Davie: I don’t think I came up with the moat idea. But the electrified copper fence was mine.

McCarthy: Jimmerson said, “How in the world do you think Royce is going to beat me when I’m flicking out a jab? He can’t get past that.” We went into a back ballroom area and I grabbed him in a double leg and put him on the ground. He looked up at me and said, “Oh, my God. He’s going to break my arms and legs, isn’t he?”

Ken Shamrock: Tuli goes down to his knees and Gerard kicks him in the mouth and his teeth go flying into the front row. Prior to that, everyone [backstage] was hitting pads and trying to hide their fear. It went dead silent.

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Fights That Shouldn’t Happen, Vol. XVII: Ken Shamrock-Royce Gracie III


(One of these two men is still telling this story.)

What do you do when you’re an over-the-hill fighter who has repeatedly refused to take the dignified route to retirement? Apparently you challenge another over-the-hill fighter who you faced a couple of times back when you were both still relevant to the sport. That’s the only possible explanation for why Ken Shamrock thinks it’s a good idea to call out Royce Gracie like it’s 1995 all over again:

The second time I beat him in every aspect of the fight; in fact his corner had to carry him out. Fans have been calling for a rematch ever since. After this particular fight Royce left the UFC. As a matter of fact I ran the entire Gracie family out of the UFC. His talk is cheap. Let’s settle it in the cage. I heard Royce agree to a rematch three times now, every time he has come up with a reason not to fight me. Royce and my brother Frank should get together and write a book about how to set up fights and not fight.

At least Shamrock’s smack-talking skills haven’t atrophied at the same rate as his physical ones. Where this statement goes from being the typical crazy Shamrock banter to being completely out of touch with reality is when Shamrock claims that “fans have been calling for a rematch ever since.”

Really? Fans want to see a rematch of the thirty-six minute stallfest that ended in a draw? What fans? Where do they live? Could they accurately be described as fully functioning adults?

Fightlinker claims to think it’s a good idea as long as they do it in Japan with extended rounds. If the fight does happen, it had better not be in a place with an athletic commission, and any time you admit that you could only put on a fight in a place where there is no official oversight, aren’t you basically admitting that it’s a fight that is not athletically meaningful?

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