Much has been made of the fact that Ricardo Almeida is looking to avenge his teacher, friend and mentor Renzo Gracie when he takes on Matt Hughes this Saturday night at UFC 117. Gracie lost to Hughes this past April at UFC 112 and afterward Almeida was vocal in asking for a bout with Hughes. Almeida took to his personal vlog (courtesy Tokyo Five and MMAMania) recently to offer his take on the revenge angle and he reveals that the bout is not quite as personal as it is being marketed.
“Man, there’s an old Chinese saying that says, ‘Before you seek revenge, first dig two graves,'” said Almeida when asked if he is seeking revenge against Hughes. “I believe in that. I try not to hold grudges. If I have a problem with someone–I’ve said this before–if I had a problem with Matt Hughes, probably me, Dante, and a couple of guys would get on a plane, I’ll knock on his door and I’ll fight on his front lawn. And I’m sure he’ll fight me on his front lawn, he’s a tough guy. There’s nothing personal in this fight for me. I’m not gonna be the guy who bad mouths a UFC Hall of Famer just to attract attention. I’m not in this for attention, I’m in this for the competition. To me, beating a UFC Hall of Famer–I’m gonna have a chance to get in there and do all my talking with my fists, my kicks, takedowns and guillotines, why am I gonna spend time trying to knock down someone who has done so much for this sport?”
That said, Almeida admits that he is looking to get a win over Hughes just as much for himself as for Gracie and their team.
“Do I wanna get the win back for the team? Yes,” said “Big Dog”. “Did I ask for the fight? Yes. But who wouldn’t? Renzo’s my teacher, he’s a good friend and he lost that fight. We have each other’s back.”
Almeida and Hughes will square off on the main card of UFC 117 which is going down this Saturday at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. The card will be headlined by UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen who will be battling it out for the middleweight title.