Former longtime UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes (43-7) has made good on his promise to fight exclusively in interesting matches, agreeing to a match with BJJ legend Renzo Gracie (13-6-1) at UFC 112 (April 10th, 2010). The fight will take place in the opulent, futuristic city of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
There are several compelling side-stores to this match-up including a submission that Renzo once scored over Hughes' former head-trainer Pat Miletich, and the fact that Hughes embarrassed and soundly routed Renzo's cousin Royce Gracie at UFC 60 to spoil The UFC 1 winner's undefeated octagon record. On top of that, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is a student of Renzo Gracie's. The UFC's debut in Abu Dhabi, a nation so obsessed with grappling that jiu-jitsu instruction is taught in all public schools, was already going to be one of the MMA's biggest stories of 2010-- this intriguing fight only makes it that much bigger.
Say whatever you want about Matt "Country Breakfast" Hughes, but one has to admit that he clearly understands marketing.
The following quote is taken from Hughes' official site:
I didn’t know if I could say anything about my next fight, but I see that Dana has let the cat out of the bag. So I can tell you what I know, on April 10th I will be fighting Renzo Gracie in Abu Dhabi. I haven’t signed any paperwork and I don’t think Renzo has either; but I think this fight is going to happen. That’s all I know, serious training will start for me at the new year.