The stage appears to be set for former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes to take on Renzo Gracie at UFC 112 on April 10th, 2010.
Dana White hinted at the fight at yesterday’s pre-fight conference and hours later it was officially announced that Gracie had indeed signed with the UFC.
Not long after Matt Hughes confirmed that a fight between him and the UFC’s new signing was being lined up.
“on April 10th I will be fighting Renzo Gracie in Abu Dhabi. I haven’t signed any paperwork and I don’t think Renzo has either; but I think this fight is going to happen. That’s all I know, serious training will start for me at the new year.”
There is believed to be some bad blood between the two fighters, with Hughes already having defeated another member of the Gracie fighting dynasty and legend of the sport, Royce Gracie, the first UFC champion.
Just a few months later Renzo Gracie choked out Matt Hughes long-time coach Pat Milletich in a fight in the IFL.
Matt Hughes (43-7) last fought at UFC 98, narrowly defeating Matt Serra to take the sting off of two back-to-back defeats against Georges St.Pierre and Thiago Alves.
Renzo Gracie on the other hand has not fought an MMA bout since 2007 when his opponent, Frank Shamrock was disqualified for kneeing the fighter while he was on the ground. Though he went undefeated in his three bouts in the IFL, the Brazilian now 42, had lost six of his seven fights prior to that, taking his record to 13-6-1 (1nc).