The welterweight bout between Matt Hughes and Renzo Gracie had a lot of fans excited coming into “UFC 112: Invincible.” Unfortunately, it left everyone wondering why the fight was put together in the first place.
Although it was a dominating victory for Hughes, it didn’t prove anything about what the former 170-pound champion might have left in the tank.
Renzo was clearly gassed somewhere in the middle round, and appeared rusty and completely overmatched by the time the fight concluded. The fans in Abu Dhabi actually booed Renzo for his performance, which was shocking in itself.
It was Hughes’ first victory by stoppage in almost 3 1/2 years, his last coming against BJ Penn at UFC 63, where he used his patented crucifix to prevent the now-former lightweight champion from defending himself.
Hughes undoubtedly outclassed Renzo in the standup by using legkicks to wear his opponent out before finally finishing him off in the third round, but it wasn’t a showing that would warrant a return to the top of his weight class.
Saturday night’s showing in the desert showed that Renzo might not be fit enough to complete the six-fight UFC contract he recently signed. A move down to 155-pounds might be best for him.
The future for the former welterweight champion is a little more hazy as most believe the division’s youngsters would handle him rather easily.