Since the UFC’s announcement that they would be returning to Brazil for the first time in over a decade in August every fighter in the region has been clamoring to get on the card.
Some have already been successful in that regard – Anderson Silva, Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua and Luiz Cane to name but a few, but the competition is still fierce for the remaining spots on the card.
One Brazilian who’s been claiming he’s in the running for a fight at the event has raised more eyebrows than any other though – the UFC’s first ever champion and esteemed hall-of-famer Royce Gracie.
Though undoubtedly a bonafide legend in the UFC, the fact is that Gracie hasn’t competed in the UFC since a convincing defeat to Matt Hughes back at UFC 60 in 2006, and has only fought once since then a year later where he ended up testing positive for steroids.
When you factor in that he’s now 44 years old the idea of him fighting on the card wasn’t exactly being met with a great deal of enthusiasm, yet Gracie himself claimed that talks were ongoing about the possibility and was dedicating his time to training for the show.
It seems that UFC president Dana White has a completely different take on the situation however. According to MMAfighting White says they have “no interest” in having the BJJ expert compete at the event in Rio De Janeiro.
You can’t blame Gracie for putting the idea out there though. I’s just another indication – as if one was needed – that the man has a natural drive and desire to compete.
That’s what led him to the UFC in the first place, where he shocked the world with his submission skills, and whether he was given another chance to fight in the Octagon or not, his place in the history of this fast-rising sport is sealed forever.