UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes recently said that he was in talks with Bellator MMA about a rematch with Royce Gracie. He beat Gracie via TKO in the first Round at UFC 60 in 2006 at a 175lbs catchweight. Gracie has repeatedly alluded to the fact that he wanted a rematch, and embraced the latest callout.
“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.”
After losing to Hughes in 2006, the next year Royce avenged a loss to Kazushi Sakuraba. He did not compete again until February 19, 2016, stopping Ken Shamrock with strikes at Bellator 149 in a trilogy fight; the pair’s previous bout ended in a draw. Gracie said he has not been offered the Hughes fight by Bellator, but he is ready to fight any time.
“Boy, if you want to fight me right now, I’ll meet you there,” said Gracie, laughing. “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.”
Hughes described Gracie as a fight he knew he would win.
“He’s confident. That’s good,” said Royce. “That’s good when the guy has confidence. It’s not bad. I want to fight someone who thinks like that. It’s good when you have confidence. That shows he’s a champion, not a loser.”
And Gracie says this time it would be different.
“I’d be in the fight,” he said. “The strategy was right. Everything we planned and imagined he would do, he did. But I wasn’t in the fight.”