"I thought that on the ground, Renzo was going to have a full gas tank. That's what he does, is ground work. I knew if I kept him on his feet, I was going to have the advantage the longer the fight went. So I felt comfortable. I got hit a few times... In the middle of the second round, I could really see his shots coming. It gave me a lot of time to move and get out of the way or block. So he was definitely getting tired, and I think my leg kicks really put his mind in a place where he was ready for the rounds to be over. He was ready for the fight to be done." - Matt Hughes
The fight may have seemed weird: a wrestler and a jiu-jitsu specialist spending most of the fight on their feet, exchanging punches and kicks.
But Matt Hughes said that it was all part of his game plan. After his UFC 112 fight against Renzo Gracie, he told MMAFighting that standing up was his best chance of winning the fight due to Gracie's prowess in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Hughes shot for a take down once in the second round, but Gracie was able to stand up.
Throughout the fight, Hughes landed leg kicks quite efficiently, making Gracie's leg wobble. Engaging in some crisp striking, during the third round, Hughes continuously struck Gracie, sending him to the mat. After a bit of up-and-down, referee Herb Dean called a stop to the fight when Hughes landed another punch.
At the post-fight press conference, UFC President Dana White said that sometimes people look old, and during the welterweight fight, Gracie looked old. Tweeting for the UFC, WEC fighter Miguel Torres said: "Renzo doesnt look good, his leg is done..."
Nevertheless, both fighter said that they will be back in the Octagon in the future.
Photo: Fight Magazine