Is Royce Gracie returning to the Octagon at UFC Rio?


Or is it just a mere coincidence the UFC hall-of-famer today appeared as an active middleweight on the promotion's online roster?

Gracie stated he would like to return to fight on the UFC "Rio" card during the Zuffa press conference held a few months back to promote the August 2011 event.

From his appearance at Rio de Janeiro's City Hall:

"I'm still thinking (on fighting in Rio). But I'm always training," he said laughing. "This return of UFC to Brazil touched me, made me feel the wish of coming back to the Octagon. Everything has been negotiated with Dana White. Let's wait and see."

Royce wrote his name in the MMA history books by finishing taller, stronger and heavier opponents using the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) taught by his father and mentor Helio Gracie.

He won three out of four tournaments before continuing his career in Japan.

The Gracie family was fundamental to solidify the mixed martial arts. In the old days, members of the Gracie clan challenged athletes from other martial arts to prove the efficiency and superiority of their BJJ.

Rorion Gracie founded the Ultimate Fighting Championship but the organization turned out greater after Zuffa purchased the struggling promotion and currently holds events in seven countries outside the United States.

Another Gracie, Renzo, is under contract and could also appear on Aug 27 fight card. Despite both legends being over forty (Royce is 44 and Renzo is 43), they still have appeal and respect from the fans and the UFC will make every effort to put on an attractive show for the South American fans.

Gracie hasn't stepped inside the Octagon since a welterweight loss to Matt Hughes way back at UFC 60 in May 2006. If the grappling guru indeed returns, who would you like to see him fight at 185-pounds?

Maybe Demian Maia?

It may not do anything for Maia's ranking, but I'm sure he would love to fight the legend. Would you like to see it?

For more on the UFC "Rio" card click here.

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