T Nation

Final Hughes Vs. Gracie Thread?


We have one week to decide who is going to win the match-up between Welter weight champ Matt Hughes and accomplished Jiu-Jitsu fighter and UFC legend Royce Gracie.

I have been very vocal in my belief that this could very well be a mismatch. Matt Hughes is at the peak of his game. While Royce Gracie has not set foot in the Octagon in perhaps 9 years. He has had other fights, none all that impressive.

It's my contention that even during Gracies hey day of the mid 90's, he won so many fights because his opponents did not know what he knew. That is no longer an advantage for him.

While Gracie is a very highly skilled Jiu-Jitsu practioner, Matt Hughes at least understands that game and has won many of his fights by tap out using submission moves. This may nullify Gracies ground game.

If I were in Gracies corner I would have encouraged my fighter to effectively learn hot to strike with his hands and feet. He would then be able to use his height and reach advantage in a "boxing fashion" forcing the shorter less gifted puncher Hughes into an awkward position.

Did Gracie train to "kickbox" or is he simply going to bring his Jiu-Jitsu "A" game to the Octagon?

Either way, Gracie is going to have to overcome more than just Hughes superior strength, Octagon savy and outstanding wrestling skills. Hughes is a seasoned veteran when it comes to submission at this point. And while the great BJ Penn taught him a lesson a short while ago, Hughes has learned from that experience and will be ready for Gracie style Jiu-Jitsu.

Unless Gracie comes to the game with some new tricks, such as a solid striking game, I think we can expect a referee stopage sometime in the second round.

How do the rest of you feel?


I completely agree. Hughes by KO.


Hughes will probally win. Some good points as you have pointed out. But I would like to see Gracie win because he is a legend. An to show he still can kick some ass and he isnt outdated. Hopefull he will have a few tricks up under his sleeve. Its going to be very interesting to see who wins.


As much as I don't like Matt Hughes... it's gonna be like Ortiz vs Shamrock. Only worse.


Here's Royce preparing. His boxing doesn't look fantastic, but he does seem to be practicing it.


Either Gracie by submission in the 2nd or 3rd round, or Hughes by decision. Royce is too smart to be KO'd. He's faced many harder punchers than Hughes, and no way Hughes submits him. However, Royce can't win a decision. Hughes will be able to out-box him, and on the ground Royce will spend most of his time on his back. Although this is comfortable for him, it doesn't bode well for a positive decision. I'm going out on a limb to say that Hughes gets frusterated not being able to finish Royce and makes a mistake in Royce's guard. Royce by submission in the 3rd round.


While I am very excited for this fight and cannot wait to see it, I think Hughes is going to win.

If this fight took place years ago when Gracie was at his prime i.e. his fight vs. Shamrock or something of that nature, it would be much closer. But Hughes is not a fat and slow slob like Akebono.

If the fight stays up on the feet, which I doubt it will, Hughes certainly has the advantage.

If the fight goes to the ground, Hughes is too strong for Gracie, and will stay far too active for Gracie if he ends up on his back in the guard. Because of this, I think it will be much harder for Gracie to catch Hughes in a submission.

Conclusion: Hughes' superior wrestling, strength, and athleticism...Hughes shoots, picks up and drops Gracie, ground and pound to the win.

I could be very, very wrong, however, and that's what makes this sport the greatest in the world.


I don't want this to sound like I'm talkin' shit, cause Gracies record speaks for itself, but he looks like he's never thrown a punch in his life. And having seen Hughes fight a few times, there is NO WAY this fight doesn't end up on the ground. As of now I feel Hughes has the upper hand. Having said that, I could easily see Gracie lockin' him up and makin' him tap. I think it's gonna be a frustrating fight, from both fighters and fans perspective...


I think Hughes will try and keep it standing. He won't want to mess with Royce's guard, there's no reason to. He has a clear cut advantage on his feet. Royce's standup looked pretty bad in that video. Now, if Royce can pull guard from the clinch and work a high guard he might have a good chance of submitting Matt.

However, if they do end up on the ground I see Matt tossing Royce up against the fence so he has little to no mobility and then elbowin his face into oblivion. As far as I'm concerned Matt's a sure thing, that's why I put a small bet down on him.


The young champion on top of his game ALWAYS beats the washed up old former champion in boxing.

It is usually a mismatch.

I don't see why the same would not apply in this case.


The rumble in the jungle means nothing to you?


My wife is getting into "The ultimate fighter" so I down loaded Legends of the Octagon with Gracie to show her the way it has changed over the years.

I wish it was like the old days, no time limits, best man walks out.

I just don't like Hughes. I really hope Gracie hurts him.


It makes no sense for Gracie to be doing this. The whole reason he quit fighting was because they instigated time limits. His entire game is based on absorbing the other guys energy and letting him wear himself down.

Gracie's a damn boa constrictor.

There's no way he wins against Hughes in a timed fight. No time limit? I'd have to give him the nod. But not with these gay ass 5 minute rounds.


you mean like when foreman beat ali ?


Ali was not washed up at the time.

Gracies recent record indicates he is.


Not always. Foreman was 42-0 with 38 KO's and Ali was supposedly over the hill, and Ali beat him by outsmarting him. Similar case here. Royce outsmarts him, victory by late submission.


"The young champion on top of his game ALWAYS beats the washed up old former champion in boxing."

How about Foreman beating Moorer

As for Gracie doing it i'm gonna go out on a limb and agree with whoever said he'll frustrate matt and submit him when he makes a mistake. But even if matt wins theres no way he's beating GSP.


In the last 11 years Royce has beaten Akebono in one of Japans beloved Freak show matches, and Takada. Hughes has won 17 of his last 18 fights since 2001. Hughes is the clear favorite. He will win a decision, and I'm predicting a very boring fight.


Did anyone forget that Randy Couture was in his 40's when he was kicking ass in the octagon? Yes, Hughes is strong and blah blah blah blah blah...but let's remember some facts here gents:

1.) Royce grew up in Rio, and started learning jiu-jitsu very early on in life.

2.) Royce has more EXPERIENCE in terms of fights.

3.) Royce grew up with brothers, cousins, dad, uncles etc. who are all VERY skilled fighters.

4.) Royce gracie is...well, ROYCE GRACIE.

I wouldn't be surprised if he trained with Rickson on this one. Do all of you really think that a gracie brother would just train nonchalantly for a fight of this hype. I think that vid that was posted earlier on the thread was for Hughes to see and to underestimate Royce. I bet all I got that he's training for possibly the last professional fight of his life. My two cents...gracie by submission 3rd round. I believe someone else called this earlier in the thread too. But whatever, ya'll think what you want but we're not fighting so let's just sit back and enjoy the fight eh?


During Gracie's prime I wouldn't even consider him a true Mixed Martial Artist. All he ever did was lie on his back and wait for the submission. Of course there is no denying the fact he is great at that specific area of the game so I certainly am not taking that away.

Time limit? Because this is a spectator sport there has to be action going on, some type of progression. I don't agree with the way Gracie and the other fighters would just lie there with the original rules, how boring is that? It's like seeing a knee in football, ugh!

Even taking away the spectators, personally, a fight needs to be progressive and constantly in the direction towards some type of decision. I know it is strategy for Gracie to lie on his back and absorb the other person's energy but i think it is a lazy way to fight.