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Royce Gracie wants Matt Hughes rematch, says ‘everybody wants to see this second fight’

MMA: Bellator 149-Gracie vs Shamrock Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

To much surprise, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) legend Matt Hughes recently announced that he would return to fighting for the right opportunity. Despite being 43 years of age and far removed from his combat prime, Hughes understands that there is a market for legend vs. legend fights in this day and age. Luckily for him, fellow UFC great Royce Gracie wasted no time in making it known that he’d gladly welcome the welterweight back to action in a rematch of mixed martial arts (MMA) trailblazers.

"Man, that would be great,” said Gracie in a recent interview with MMA Fighting. "That would be great. Everybody wants to see this second fight.”

Remember, the two first fought at UFC 60 back in 2006, with Hughes winning decisively via first-round TKO. He battered Gracie, took his back quickly and rained down punches until the elder UFC statesman had nothing left to offer. But even with that outcome etched in time, Gracie is ready to reverse the roles.

“I'd be in the fight,” Gracie said. “The strategy was right. Everything we planned and imagined he would do, he did. But I wasn’t in the fight."

Gracie, 50, last competed at Bellator 159 just over one year ago when he finished Ken Shamrock via first-round TKO. Before that, the grappling legend hadn’t competed professionally since 2007, winning a decision over Kazushi Sakuraba.

"I never stopped training, I never stopped working out,” said Gracie. “My body is in great shape, the machine is working. There’s only one way to find out (who would win): we have to do it again.”

“Boy, if you want to fight me right now, I’ll meet you there [laughs],” added Gracie. "When you're a fighter, you have to be ready all the time. There’s no ‘I need a month’. It’s always time. When you're a fighter, any time is time to fight. I won’t ask for more time, say 'I need to get ready'. You’re a warrior or you’re not.”

If the two veterans are able to put ink to paper and schedule a somewhat enticing rematch, it would surely be under Bellator MMA rule. That’s all well and good though because fight fans would most likely get a free peak into the return of the great Matt Hughes.

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