MMA legend Royce Gracie wants one more shot at a chance to compete in the UFC. And he has the ideal opponent already picked out.
After avenging one of his career two losses to Kazushi Sakuraba in 2007, Gracie (14-2-3) has just one more man he needs to get revenge on: fellow UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes.
Hughes defeated Gracie in 2006 at UFC 60, scoring a first round TKO by punches with just 21 seconds remaining in the round.
“That’s the only one,” Gracie said. “I want to be able to show up to the fight. (Last time), I didn’t show up. It happens.
“That’s the only one missing.”
Gracie, 44 years old, said he has spoken to UFC President Dana White about the bout, but is unsure if it will ever happen. Hughes, who has stated he only wants to fight a limited schedule, is set to meet Diego Sanchez at UFC 135 next month.
The three-time UFC tournament winner also said he has no desire to accept any other fight from any other organization, though he continues to train and keep himself in shape as he lives, “A professional athlete’s life,” by running every day and training.
“If it happens, good,” Gracie said of a meeting with Hughes. “If it doesn’t happen, good.
“Been there done that. You have to know when to stop in this sport. It’s very hard. I saw an interview with B.J. Penn. He was saying it’s very hard to stop because when you’re a fighter, you’re a fighter. But you have to know when to stop.”
Gracie has plans to attend this Saturday’s UFC 134: Silva vs. Okami event to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“It’s good it’s in Brazil,” Gracie said. “It’s back where it all started with my father. It’s coming back home. There’s so much talent in Brazil, so many guys that will probably never get discovered. It’s a chance for them to come out and train more. After all, UFC today became a job, it became a sport. Kids wake up in the morning and say, ‘I want to be a UFC fighter one day, just like they do in baseball.'”