Royce Gracie is trying to get one more fight in the UFC in his home country of Brazil, and he’s asking for a rematch with Matt Hughes.
The legendary winner of several early UFC tournaments has been hounding president Dana White to place him on the UFC 134 card in Rio, but no decision has been made yet whether or not he’ll be granted his wish.
“I’ll just tell you straight up, he thinks his performance against Matt Hughes was not what it could have been. He thinks he can beat Matt Hughes, and he wants that fight again,” White told reporters on Wednesday about Gracie’s wish to return to the Octagon.
Gracie has been out of action since a 2007 win over Kazushi Sakuraba in K-1. Following the fight, Gracie tested positive for the anabolic steroid Nandrolone Metabolite, and was suspended by the California State Athletic Commission for one year.
It was Gracie’s first fight after losing to Hughes in his UFC comeback bout, where he was finished by strikes in the first round.
White admits he hasn’t made a final decision regarding Gracie’s involvement in UFC 134 or a rematch with Hughes. For his part, Matt Hughes hasn’t made any statement whether he’d even be interested in a second fight with Gracie after a dominant performance during their first go round.
While he won’t tell Gracie what to do regarding his fight future, White didn’t make things sound too optimistic when discussing the UFC hall of famer.
“There’s times when I step in for instance like Chuck Liddel and I say ‘Chuck I think you should retire’. Royce Gracie, I don’t know. He didn’t look too damn good against Matt the first time,” White said.
Gracie was at the UFC 129 pre-fight press conference, and will meet with White later today to discuss his future with the promotion.
“Royce is here, he’s waiting to talk to me,” White commented on Wednesday.
Gracie has long been rumored to make one more run in the Octagon during the historic UFC 134 event in Brazil. During his time with the UFC, Gracie has gone 11-1-1 overall, but the one loss was of course the first round stoppage versus Hughes in 2006.
White didn’t put a time line on how soon he might decide on Gracie’s future, but he’ll likely get the hard sell on Wednesday from the Brazilian legend to try and get one more shot in the Octagon he helped build.
Damon Martin is the lead staff writer and radio host for MMAWeekly.com.
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