Royce is so behind on the times. It hasn’t sunk in yet that the modern MMA fighter surpassed him back in 2005. Dispite this fact, he’s still trying to get onto the card of the first Brazilian UFC. And he’s still pretending no one has figured out who his mystery choice is, even though you’d have to be high on air duster not to know it’s Matt Hughes.
Let’s look at that choice for a second: Hughes smushed Royce like a bug the last time they fought, almost ripping his arm off with a kimura before politely switching to ground and pound to finish him off. A second fight would go the same way, or worse. Royce may suck compared to the average martial artist of today, but he’s still got that Gracie stubbornness that’s liable to lead to another horrific Razak Al-Hassan moment in cage.
Fortunately, no one is taking his request to fight Hughes again seriously. Matt is scheduled to fight Diego Sanchez in September and UFC Rio already has a mighty Brazilian booty’s worth of awesome fights to fill it’s main card. And Royce seems unwilling to entertain other options for opponents:
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): This guy is in desperate need of a paycheck. He said fighting you at UFC 134 would guarantee to be the biggest pay-per-view ever, Ken Shamrock.
Royce Gracie: Ken never won a tournament. He’s gotta stop, man. I beat him in less than a minute at the first UFC.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Okay, these last two guys have built reputations as guys who can beat Gracies. The first is Sakaraba.
Royce Gracie: I already had my rematch with him. I’m done with him.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): The very last one, I don’t know if this is even possible, I don’t know if this guy is even alive but Wallid Ismail.
Royce Gracie: I have no idea about him. He’s somewhere in the jungle climbing the coconut trees in Brazil, man.
Well, those are pretty much the only interesting fights available to him, so Royce has basically painted himself into a corner here. A nice, safe corner that will keep him from being beaten into the living death (™ Ken Shamrock 2002) at UFC: Rio.