Matt Hughes vs. Royce Gracie 2 could happen in Bellator
UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes last competed in a professional mixed martial arts bout at UFC 135 in September 2011. He was defeated via knockout by then rising star Josh Koscheck.
Hughes then transitioned to a desk job with the organization where he served as vice president of athlete development and government relations up until December 2016.
Even at age 43, and not having fought for close to six years, Hughes is not entirely out of the fight picture.
“If I could find an opponent that I think I can beat, I would go again,” Hughes told Joe Buck for an upcoming episode of AT&T Audience Network’s ‘Undeniable with Joe Buck.’
The episode will air in late summer/early fall.
Which fight could possibly pull Hughes out of retirement?
How about another UFC Hall of Famer in Royce Gracie?
The two legends fought back at UFC 60 in May 2006. The fight lasted only 4:39 before Hughes was declared the victor via TKO.
That was Gracie’s first fight with the UFC since UFC 5 in 1995.
Since the loss to Hughes, Gracie has had two more fights; one in 2007 against Kazushi Sakuraba, and then nine years later in the main event of Bellator 149 against Ken Shamrock.
Now at 50 years old if Gracie were to make a comeback the race against Father Time is on.
The UFC is unlikely to put together a legends tour type rematch between Hughes and Gracie. If you are reading this, the option that is likely running through your head, given the organization’s history with these types of contests, is Bellator.
Per an article on Yahoo Sports, “Perhaps the most shocking thing about it all is that if there is a Hughes-Gracie II, it’s likely to be in Bellator, not the UFC.”
MMAFighting.com reported Hughes and Bellator have had some discussions about a rematch with Gracie.
“I’m not saying I am [going to fight again],” Hughes said to Buck. “The guy I am talking about fighting might have been in this chair.”
The only MMA fighter to appear on the show with Joe Buck is Gracie, who was interviewed two weeks ago.