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The search for Royce’s opponent gets wacky

Royce Gracie continues to campaign for a fight at UFC Rio and while there’s no updates from Zuffa HQ that make it sound like this is going to happen, speculation on who could possibly be his opponent has ramped up. The possibilities range from the silly to the uncompetitive to the impossible. Let’s start with silly:

The infamously one-gloved boxer Art Jimmerson (0-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) was first to call out than man who beat him at UFC 1, and now UFC Hall of Famer Dan Severn (98-16-7 MMA, 9-3 UFC) wants a rematch, as well.

MMA Junkie did a poll to see who people wanted Royce to face and the number 1 option was BJ Penn. Gracie himself wants a rematch with Matt Hughes. As heartwarming as it would be to see Gracie get smashed into oblivion by either men in front of his home crowd, I think I’d rather the #2 poll choice, ‘Other’.

But who could ‘Other’ be? Matt Hughes is the T-800 of the UFC, once top of the line but now considered obsolete in the face of such technology like T-1000 GSP and T-1001 Bones Jones. What does that make Royce in this lame analogy? That fat guard in the psych hospital who gets finger spiked? Even TUF rejects at the bottom of the totem pole are several generations past Royce’s skillset. The only good options are people outside the organization, but the UFC may be too rigid in it’s ways to actually consider bringing someone in even though it’d be the best solution.

Unless the UFC is able to somehow pull Sakuraba away from FEG for a fight (doubtful), it seems to me like any other option is grasping at straws. Why bring Royce back for either an ass whupping or a charade of a fight? Bring him in as a guest commentator, bring him in for a special ceremony at the start of the event, but he really doesn’t need to be fighting on the card. The guy is from 1995, for fuck’s sake.

  • agentsmith

    Royce is like the T-600 series… they had rubber skin, and were spotted easily.

  • subo

    It’s Blackula!

  • frickshun

    I co-sign the commentating gig. My only fear is that:
    a) He won’t give fighters the respect they deserve
    b) He’ll constantly plug Gracie BJJ
    c) He won’t even know what the fuck these new-age fighters are doing in there?!

  • Reverend Clint

    wonder if the crowd would kill him if he lost?

  • Symbul

    Him fighting will only result in bad things. It’s a complete waste of card space. He was completely done before the first Hughes fight and he won’t have gotten better since. I’m sure Hughes would love to take the fight for a big paycheck and phoning it in against another Gracie who isn’t a modern MMA fighter though.

    Okay I’d kinda love to see him fight Jimmerson again but more for the comedic appeal than anything else.

  • glassjawsh

    I’m still holding out hope for Harold Howard v Joe San

  • agentsmith

    ^ Better: Cup-Cheik Congo vs Joe San.

  • Reverend Clint

    ^true kongo does deserve prison

    at least in brazil there wont be tests for royce to fail

  • mamoru

    Unless they bring in Wallid Ismael’s crazy ass to fight him, I really hope they don’t put Royce on the card.

  • Mixed Martial Adam

    Is anyone other than the Gracies talking about Royce fighting at Rio? I know THEY have said they’re in talks with the UFC to fight, but has anyone from the UFC actually mentioned that it’s even a possibility?

    There’s no way that Royce fights anyone in the UFC as 1) ANY figher under contract in the WW division would rape him and 2) the UFC won’t waste a slot on a LONG retired fighter from the dark days of cage fighting – legend or not.


  • DJ ThunderElbows

    Either Severn or Jimmerson.  Anything else he won’t take since he’d get raped.

  • Mixed Martial Adam