Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Matt Hughes VS. Royce Gracie... Too tough to call?

With about a month to go until this fight there certainly is a lot of speculation about who is going to win. I'm kind of torn on this one to be honest and I think this fight is evenly matched overall and will be just about impossible to pick a winner.

I'm an old school MMA fan from the mid-90's and got the fever watching Royce choke out Dan Severn after almost 40 minutes of grappling action. Just the other night Spike ran a Royce Gracie special highlighting some of his notable (Aren't they all?) wins from the very first couple of Ultimate Fighting Championship events.

Initially I was pretty confident that Matt Hughes was going to handle Royce fairly easily, but after watching that special I am not so sure as I was.

Royce was in his late 20's when the UFC and he got their start, and at that time he was clearly an accomplished master in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and submissions. Things get better with time and I suspect this is also the case with Royce Gracie.

Now, after more than 10 years since his last UFC fight I would have to think that Royce is near God like with his BJJ skills. Matt Hughes is certainly going to have his hands full when he steps into the octagon especially with 3 of his 4 losses coming via submission.

Hughes is going to have to come out strong and avoid the takedown at all costs which will be easier said than done. He's going to need his impressive strength to keep this fight standing and if he can get a few nice shots in on Royce early he'll have a much better chance of ending up with the win.

Royce will also be fighting without a gi (forget the rumors) and I believe that will also work against him. Once these guys start sweating, getting some traction for a submission gets harder and harder and with no gi to provide some friction Gracie will have to contend with that as well.

My final amateur analysis... =))

On top or on bottom, if it goes to the ground early I'm looking for Royce to win. If Matt can use the sprawl and his strength to keep the fight on their feet watch for a Hughes win.

Only a month until we find out, I can hardly wait....

(MMA Fanatic)