What's a UFC event in Brazil without a Gracie on the card?
That's the stance taken by legendary jiu-jitsu master Royce Gracie, who badly wants to make it to the show for one last dance in the famed Octagon.
But not just against anybody. He wants a rematch, in what would be a retirement fight, against the man that pummeled him back at UFC 60, Matt Hughes.
He's even going the old James Toney route, following company President Dana White to the UFC 129 press conference, apparently to state his case for one more chance at the country boy wrestler. From White:
"He thinks that his performance against Matt Hughes wasn't what it could have been, and thinks he can beat Matt Hughes. He wants that fight again. Who am I to say? There's times when I step in - for instance, like Chuck Liddell, and I say, 'Chuck, I think you should retire.' Do I think Royce Gracie should fight again? I don't know. He didn't look too damn good against Matt the first time."
As recently as last week, the bossman had stated he had no intentions of putting Royce on the card for one last match, despite old school veterans coming out of the woodwork asking for a piece of him.
But is the continued insistence of Gracie wearing him down?
Recently, old timers like Art Jimmerson and Dan Severn have openly campaigned for a rematch against Gracie. However, White, along with large segments of the UFC fanbase, have little to no interest in reliving the early, chaotic, days of the promotion.
Instead, it looks like we're inching closer and closer to reliving a May 2006 fight that saw Matt Hughes, in his prime and during the meat of his dominant run as welterweight champion, absolutely run through Gracie, nearly submitting the Brazilian before eventually pounding him out.
The memory of that night, which was a smash hit on pay-per-view, is clearly still fresh on the mind of the UFC original.
And if he gets his way, he'll get the chance to avenge that defeat ... this time on his turf.
Anyone think White will back down and let Royce have his way?