Matt Hughes recently hinted that he was interested in coming out of retirement for a rematch with fellow UFC hall-of-famer Royce Gracie, and it seems that his old rival would jump at the chance to lock horns with him again.
“Man, that would be great,” Gracie told MMAfighting.com when asked about a potential second fight with Hughes. “That would be great. Everybody wants to see this second fight.”
“I never stopped training, I never stopped working out. My body is in great shape, the machine is working. There’s only one way to find out [who would win]: we have to do it again.”
Gracie was of course a dominant force in the earliest days of the UFC, but by the time he returned to the Octagon in 2006 after an 11-year absence, Hughes was the king of the hill, and he made short work of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace, TKO’ing him in the first round.
Nevertheless, the now 50-year-old Gracie’s desire to compete still appears to be burning as brightly as ever, and he’s made it clear that he’d fight Hughes at the drop of a hat.
“Boy, if you want to fight me right now, I’ll meet you there. When you’re a fighter, you have to be ready all the time. There’s no ‘I need a month’. It’s always time. When you’re a fighter, any time is time to fight. I won’t ask for more time, say ‘I need to get ready.’ You’re a warrior or you’re not.”
And naturally this time Gracie thinks he’d give Hughes a harder fight than in their first encounter.
“I’d be in the fight,” Gracie predicted as he reflected on their previous meeting. “The strategy was right. Everything we planned and imagined he would do, he did. But I wasn’t in the fight.”
It remains to be seen whether this battle of legends will come to fruition, but if it does it looks like it would happen over in Bellator where Gracie is currently under contract.