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Who Should Royce Gracie Fight at UFC Rio?

| April 16, 2011 | 5 Replies

royceg Who Should Royce Gracie Fight at UFC Rio?

Ok, let’s all disregard the obvious question here, which is, WHY Royce Gracie should fight at UFC Rio.  This isn’t like baseball where the old times can come in, throw out the ceremonial first pitch and then wave to fans as he steps off the mound and into immortality.  This is a sport, where your opponent tries to render you either unconscious or unable to defend yourself.  He knows this and still wants to fight, so the question isn’t why should Royce fight, I guess, it’s who should Royce Fight.

I’m going to make the very presumptuous statement that Royce isn’t trying to get back into title contention.  My guess is he wants someone to put on a spirited match with, and walk away from the sport where he and his family helped develop it.  Fair enough right?  So who should step up, and send the great one off in style.  Here’s a short list of fighters, and I’m going to assume weight won’t be an issue when Joe Silva books this one.  Also, it’s not the likelihood of the fight, but how likeable it would be, or the likeability that we’re examining.

Dan Severn – Dan has already been vocal about wanting this opportunity to end his career on a high note.  Which is news to me, because I thought Dan Severn’s career ended sometime after his second fight with Shannon Ritch in 2005, who knew?  Joking aside, this fight could make some sense.  Dan Severn has two fights on the docket already and if he wins both would enter his final match with Royce at 100 career wins.  Whoever wins the fight goes out in style, whoever loses, walks out to a packed house of admiring fans.  Likeability of this fight, 7.5 out of 10.

Ken Shamrock – First off, there is nobody in the world who could make this fight seem more heated and exciting than Ken Shamrock.  He could bust out the classics like, “Beat you into the living death”, “I will get my respect or I will die”, and my favorite, but less known, “Bitch Monkey” when referring to Tito Ortiz.  No doubt about it, Ken would sell the heck out of this fight.  The fight itself might be entertaining as well.  The only downside is Ken would have so much heat, if he won, in Brazil, it’d be riot time. That said, I think Royce has one last submission in him.  Caveat, if Ken loses, he must retire.  Likeability of this fight, 9.0 out 10.

Kimo Leopoldo- Is he dead, is he alive?  I don’t know, and this would be a good way to clear that up.  If he shows up to fight Royce, I’d say that’s nearly proof positive that he is in fact, still alive.  It would be a nice rematch as well; their fight at UFC 3 left Royce unable to continue in the tournament.  This one might actually be fun.  Kimo has lost three in a row though, and he’s tested positive twice for steroids, not something the UFC loves.  Likeability of this fight, 6.5 out of 10.

Art Jimmerson – You remember Art from UFC 1, the guy with one glove right?  Well, he’s been saying he wants a shot at Royce as well.  As you might recall, Art’s debut in the UFC consisted of running for two minutes, and then tapping to mount.  Literally, not a submission, he tapped to a position.  Well, who deserves a shot more than Art?  He’s never fought since that first loss; instead, he’s been training, waiting for that ‘dare to be great moment’.  Is UFC Rio it?  Not likely.  Likeability of this fight, 4 out of 10.

Kazushi Sakuraba – This fight would be the rubber match between the two biggest names in the history of the sport.  Sak defeated Royce in a one hour marathon in their first meeting.  Royce came back and got the win in their second effort, by unanimous decision.  That said he did test positive for steroids post fight and  Sakuraba can’t be thrilled by that.  These guys have always been fan favorites and it would be a nice send off for either of them to get a definitive win and face it, it’s only fair that Sakuraba comes to Brazil for the fight, since Royce went to Japan for the first fight.  I suspect there’d be some groans by fans about this, but I’d love to see it, and hope it can come to pass.  Likeability of this fight, 9.5 out of 10.

So there you have five names who could be in the cage with Royce, but who knows who it’ll actually be?  One additional name comes to mind, Tank Abbott.  I mean, how is it that those two never met?  When Tank debuted with the UFC at UFC 6, Royce was on his way to compete in Japan.  They missed each other by one event.  Tragic! Sure, Tank is 4-11 in his last 15, but everyone would be happy to see the one fight from the old days that should have happened, but never did.  Now that I think about it, Tank is at the top of my list.  I want Tank Abbott vs. Royce Gracie at UFC 134, in Rio!  Likeability of this fight, OFF THE CHARTS!

UFC 134 takes place August 27th, live from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the HSBC Arena.  Anderson Silva is set to defend his title against Yushin Okami in the main event and Shogun Rua will be having a rematch with Forrest Griffin on the card as well.

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Tags: Art Jimmerson, Dan Severn, Kazushi Sakuraba, Ken Shamrock, Kimo Leopoldo, MMA, Royce Gracie, Tank Abbott, UFC, UFC 134

Category: Featured, MMA, Opinion, UFC

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Comments (5)

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  1. david schneider says:

    Steven Seagal should fight Royce.

  2. W Altom says:

    After Matt Hughes destroyed him………….who would pay to see him or would want to? I wouldn’t…………

  3. Thats the thing, nobody wants to see him let along pay to see him on the main card. My guess is he’ll be there but not fighting.

  4. Dan Rose (Lead Staff Writer) says:

    Agreed, he did teach Anderson that impressive front push kick right? :) @ david schneider:

  5. Dan Rose (Lead Staff Writer) says:

    Since it’s in Brazil, it would be a nice way to send Royce off, rather than the beat down he received from Matt. I think if he fought Ken Shamrock, there would be some morbid interest. For the most part I agree though, his being on the card is certainly not going to affect my watching of it. :) @ W Altom:

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