While the legend vs. legend bout featuring Renzo Gracie and Matt Hughes at “UFC 112: Invincible” could be a battle for the ages, it will certainly be a fight for the aged.
The 43-year-old Gracie owns a 13-6-1 professional record, however hasn’t been seen since receiving a controversial disqualification victory in February 2007 over Frank Shamrock. Renzo is fresh off signing a six-fight UFC contract and can’t wait to avenge the UFC 60 loss his cousin, Royce Gracie, sufferred to Hughes.
Hughes annihilated Royce in the Hall of Famer’s Octagon return in May of 2006. The win came during a run in which Hughes was considered the best welterweight of all-time, however reigning king Georges St-Pierre has decisively taken over that moniker with his current run following his UFC 83 win over former champ Matt Serra.
Speaking of “The Terra,” Hughes took a unanimous decision over his bitter rival in his last outing at UFC 98 in May 2009. The W bumped his record to a dominant 43-7, however the 36-year-old has only won two of his last five scraps.
Don’t expect this fight to stay standing too long, as both ground gurus would love nothing more than to start the contest on the canvas. Hughes’ superior wrestling should enable him to collect countless takedowns, but the question will be whether Gracie can avoid Hughes’ ground ‘n pound long enough to lock in a submission.
Unfortunately for Renzo, oddsmakers don’t believe it will be close, as they have pegged Hughes a 4.5-to-1 favorite to leave the Concert Arena in Abu Dhabi victorious.
Don’t forget UFC 112 kicks off early this Saturday, with the live pay-per-view broadcast beginning at 1PM ET/10AM PT. However, a same-day replay will also be made available during the UFC’s customary 10PM ET/7PM PT time slot.