When Renzo Gracie signed with the UFC, he proudly declared that he had turned down a two fight deal in favor of a six fight version, saying he planned to hang around in the UFC for a while. Many of us were amused because we all know how the UFC’s contracts work: all deals are two fight deals if you lose your two fights. Unless it’s a one fight deal like Jason High’s turned out to be. Long story short, a fighter’s contract only looks as good as they do in the cage, and Renzo didn’t look very good at UFC 112:
Following the bout, UFC president Dana White refused to address Gracie’s future directly, though he said the submission artist’s age was an obvious factor. Meanwhile, he confirmed Hughes was welcome as part of the organization for life.
“Renzo Gracie is one of the good guys in the sport,” White said. “I don’t think you’ll find too many people that would have anything bad to say about Renzo. He’s been a guy that I’ve liked and respected for many, many years.”
During the fight, Hughes rocked Gracie with a series of unchecked low kicks in the second round, and the former champ was forced to offer his foe a hand to get off the ground. Gracie was also slow to recover on subsequent attacks, and he eventually succumbed to a powerful flurry of punches in the closing seconds of the third round.
While White praised Gracie for his character, he was honest about the first-time welterweight’s current condition.
“We all get old, man,” White said. “It’s a [expletive], but it happens to all of us. Renzo looked old.”
I doubt Renzo will get the one loss boot, but he’s definitely on the edge of getting cut. So what do you do with a legend like Renzo Gracie, who’s too big of a deal to fight on the prelims but not really good enough to fight anyone who really deserves to be on the main card? Hey, why not a fight on the televised portion of a UFC Fight Night against some TUF guy?
(pic via Tatame’s UFC 112 gallery)