Thursday, June 28, 2007


Hughes VS Gracie

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(Backposted from May 2006)

OH MY GOD! The Man, The Myth, The Legendary Royce Gracie lost yesterday in UFG 60 to Matt Hughes. OF ALL PEOPLE! I could understand Royce losing to Sakuraba in Pride since the Japanese fighters are of a very high quality, but to MATT HUGHES, the most cockey and hated fighter besides Tito Ortiz in all of UFC history!? Blasphamous!

Firstly I just don't know why Royce was sticking his left arm up around Hughes head like he was. I understand trying to hold his head down to avoid being punched, but you should at least have another arm tied up so that your opponent can't get both of his arms on one of yours to work a submission. Even I know to keep my arms in close in half-guard. If Royce could have gotten both of his legs around Hughes body, he could have pushed Hughes away with his hips and gotten out of the submission attempt, possibly even landing a submission himself. I just don't understand though, usually when Royce is in trouble, he starts hitting his opponent in one spot repetedly to make him uncomfortable and change position a little (this is called a "softening technique"), he just wasn't doing anything. He didn't even try to get out of the side-mount, he gave up his back possibly attemtping to go for some sort of throw, but failed miserably. I just didn't see Royce in that Octagon.

For those of you who are not fighters or Mixed Martial Arts fans, The Ultimate Fighting Championship is a No-Holds-Barred Cagefighting competition that until recently was PPV only. It was started to pit fighters of different styles against each other to determine which style was the ultimate martial art. Back in 1993, fighters from all styles came to represent...Karate, Boxing, Kung Fu, but amid all of these different styles, one style dominated them all. Brazilian Jiujitsu, a martial art that had never been heard of and had only recently been invented by a group of brothers in Brazil, dominated fighters who had lifetimes of study in their art, and a little 160lb guy named Royce Gracie defeated 10th degree black belts who outweighed him by almost double.

He fought in a gi, with a 4th degree black belt out of some godforsaken wild west ranch in some godforsaken part of the world. What Gracie brought to the world of Martial Arts was something that the world had never really thought of to fight on the ground. Before The UFC, the assumption was that if you got knocked down or godforbid voluntarily went to the ground, you're dead! Gracie changed all of that and made Brazilian Jiu Jitsu the most sought after martial art, ending the rein of Mcdojo arts like Karate and Tae Kwon Do as legitimate streetfighting styles.

Soon, other arts emerged from the shadows of the third world. Wrestling, an overlooked sport that no one really ever concidered a martial art, and Muay Thai, a devestating kickboxing style that threw out the notions of form and kata replacing them with power and speed, both were found to be able to hang with the new generation of ground fighters that was emerging. Soon, Judo adapted to the nogi game and added its name to the list of devestating battle-tested arts.

Karate and Tae Kwon Do were not forgotten though. The Martial Arts now had a venue to evolve in, so they did just that. Karatekas studied wrestling to defend takedowns, and submissions to know what they looked like. Grapplers started knocking people out, the term Mixed Martial Artist was born. As existing arts adapted, other arts emerged from all parts of the world. Sambo, Shooto, Sumission Wrestling, French Savate, Vale Tudo and other arts took their turn in the UFC.

Today, The Ultimate Fighting Championship is no longer a ground to test style vs. style, but fighter vs. fighter, since "styles" have been integrated and the well rounded fighter is the fighter who is going to win. Finally allowed on the major cable networks, the UFC has reinvented Martial Arts as we know it, and it would not be anywhere without the works of the Gracie Family.

Royce Gracie, now 40 and coming out of retirement, took on UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Matt Hughes and pretty much got dominated. Hughes, a 175lb 32 year old wrestler beat Royce via referee stoppage in the first round. Royce is just past his prime. But the Hall of Famer Gracie still remains the Giant that he is. Every hero loses at least one, and it is not going to tarnish his image in the least. If it weren't for Royce, there would be no UFC.

If I were Hughes, I would have thrown that fight on purpose, now it doesn't matter that he beat Royce (who is 10 years past his prime), everyone just hates him more, but congratulations to Hughes for winning the fight, and props to Royce for not tapping ever in his entire career!

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