MMA Analysis: UFC Pioneers Want Gracie in Rio

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Ever since the UFC announced that the MMA superpower would put their August event on in Brazil, MMA pioneer Royce Gracie has campaigned for the opportunity to compete on the card. While putting the 44 old BJJ Black belt back in the Octagon has brought out opinions on both sides, one question needs to be answered… who the heck would fight him? 


Without hesitation, steps fellow UFC I veteran, Art “One Boxing Glove” Jimmerson to take the Gracie challenge again. Jimmerson has only one MMA fight where he was quickly submitted by Royce Gracie in a little over 2 minutes. Jimmerson has said that in the second bout with Gracie things would be different, his all time record of 0-1 don’t illustrate a rigorous training in MMA that would produce anything more than him wearing smaller gloves the second time around. This fight won’t happen.

Then out of nowhere, the still active Dan “The Beast” Severn says he wants a shot at Gracie. It appears the 52-year-old wrestler is still bitter over losing via triangle choke to Gracie at UFC 4 in 1994. According to a press release on Severn’s website,

Since the hint of a UFC Event in Brazil hit the Online Rumor Mill, Dan Severn has been passionate about his intentions to take part in this event as being his finale match to his fans and the MMA Community. Dan has said on numerous occasions that if he had the opportunity to have such a match in Brazil, he would want it to be with Royce Gracie.

In light of Royce publically announcing his intent to take part in a UFC Event in Brazil, Dan Severn is, officially, throwing out the challenge to Royce Gracie. Wanting to take it to the cage, one last time, in an all-out ground war; Two legends of the octagon can thrill and amaze the UFC audience of yesterday and today, one last time.

Currently Severn is scheduled to fight May 20th in Massachusetts for the Paul Vandale Promotions event title The Beast Comes East. Well, maybe the Beast won’t go east. Severn versus Gracie just isn’t going to happen, the UFC and the sport of MMA have developed weight classes. Sorry Dan.

So, who will Gracie fight? In his last appearance in the UFC back in 2006, the bout was very disappointing to say the least. Gracie was man-handled by Matt Hughes and getting pounded until he was ultimately saved by the referee. Albeit his first loss in the UFC, those that watched him compete in Colorado at the first ever UFC were able to see that the “game” had past Gracie by. The new caliber of fighter is stronger, faster, well-rounded in all fighting disciplines, and even cuts weight.

The only way this fight happens is to get Royce an opponent within the same caliber (age). It could be  called a “Throwback” bout, but lets not count on it. Fear not though surely we will hear from Ken Shamrock in the coming weeks looking to fight the legend Royce Gracie.

The UFC brass should make Royce the official ambassador of the UFC: Rio, and make sure he is in the booth with Goldie and Rogan. The UFC could go as far as showing a tribute to Royce on the big screen between fights and even bring him into the ring before the main event and let him address the crowd. But the legend shouldn’t fight. Then again who am I to tell Royce, the UFC or any other fighter what to do? No matter what fights the UFC puts on its Rio card, I’ll be watching and with everybody else.

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