The man who started it all has been clamoring for one last fight inside "the house that he built" ever since Zuffa announced its upcoming "Rio" card for August 27 at the HSBC Arena.
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 -- but prefers to have "one last fight" inside the Octagon.
"It would be the perfect place to do my last fight," Gracie told UOL Esportes (via Bloody Elbow). "I never fought in Rio de Janeiro and I couldn't be more psyched. We are negotiating [the fight deal], but we should have it finalized in two weeks. We only had an initial contact and I don't even have an opponent yet, but we should have that finalized soon ... My weight is the same as it was twenty years ago [80kg], I am still training, keeping the blade sharp. I follow a very strict diet. I never drank, never party, Carnaval, none of that... I'm ready to fight"
The Gracie family was fundamental in solidifying the sport of mixed martial arts. In the old days, members of the Gracie clan challenged athletes from other disciplines to prove the efficiency and superiority of their form.
Rorion Gracie founded the Ultimate Fighting Championship but the organization flourished after Zuffa purchased the struggling promotion and today 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?
Another legend? Or someone from the "new school?"
For more on the UFC "Rio" card click here.