Renzo Gracie is a revered legend of the sport. This is not something that many people would debate. Despite his only UFC appearance to date being a bit embarrassing (he gassed badly in a loss to Matt Hughes at UFC 112), the 44-year-old has a warm place in most MMA fan's hearts for being such a nice guy and a beast of a competitor. He was a guest on The MMA Hour yesterday, and stated that he was actually going to compete at UFC 134 originally, but he just didn't have the time to commit to the training:
"In reality, I can't," Gracie said on The MMA Hour. "I have no time now. I was planning to, I began the training, but my life is so crazy I couldn't dedicate 100 percent to that."
He does want a Gracie to fight on the card though. And I think you can guess which one:
"I hope Royce fights," Renzo said. "To have a Gracie fight there would be great -- great for the fans, to have someone from my family fighting. I hoped to do it but I don't have the time to concentrate to it."
Renzo isn't done yet though. He will be competing against Mario Sperry at ADCC 2011, and says we'll see him in the octagon again one day too:
"For sure, I'll be fighting," Renzo said. "I would fight for free anywhere. That's how much I like this. The UFC is paying me, so how could I say no, but that's the reality. ... I love the sport so much."
Even if Renzo did retire tomorrow, no one would think any less of him. But hopefully a return trip to the octagon goes better for him this time around. For those few of you that haven't seen Renzo fight other than his one UFC fight, I suggest you obtain a copy of the awesome documentary Renzo Gracie: Legacy. I defy you to dislike the man after watching that.