After 18 long years, Renzo Gracie will finally make his Octagon debut against Matt Hughes at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi – his home away from home.
“Abu Dhabi is my second home. I’ve been coming here for 14 years, at least 10 times a year every year since 1996,” Gracie recently told Fighter’s Only.
Renzo has a score to settle with the former welterweight champion after he violently defeated his cousin, MMA legend Royce Gracie, at UFC 60 in May 2006.
“He beat my cousin, so yes I am motivated to win for the Gracie name,” Renzo continued.
Although Hughes has fought outside the country before, most recently at UFC 85 where he was defeated by Thiago Alves, Gracie claims that fighting in Abu Dhabi will be a completely different experience.
“I have a lot of advantages that Matt Hughes will not have. He is coming to my house. This will be like fighting in my hometown. I am going to come out a couple of weeks before the event and get used to the time change. I think Matt Hughes is going to feel like he’s a million miles from home,” the sixth degree BJJ black belt said.
Clearly both fighters are closer to the end of their careers than the beginning, but the April 10th bout is long overdue and is much appreciated by MMA enthusiasts.