So I caught UFC 60 and the outcome was pretty much as I expected. Hughes basically owned Gracie the entire fight. Sure, some of the Gracie nut-huggers will try to explain the loss away by stating that Royce was out of the game for so long, but that excuse doesn't fly because he fought in Pride and a few other matches recently. More likely the age difference contributed to the outcome, but I think the real answer is that Royce lost to a guy with superior striking skills.
The Gracie family revolutionized training by bringing the importance of groundfighting and submission skills back into the public eye. For a decade they whupped on everybody. Unfortunately, the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu apologists took this to mean that any fight could be won via good ground skills alone. At least as far as the UFC goes, this is not and has not been the case for a while. You won't hear the end of it from the BJJ guys though, as they'll proclaim that Royce lost because Hughes learned BJJ. While that may be true, he was also a 5th place NCAA wrestler and groundfighting is no stranger to him. And the simple fact of the matter is, if you watch the fight, right around the 3:45 minute mark Hughes has him on the fence and drives a knee right into Royce's gut. I think that blow pretty much took the wind out of Royce's sails; you can see him wince and double over, staying tied up when normally he would've gone for the shoot. Once it went to the ground, Royce barely put up a fight. I think he just kinda fell apart.
So I have to say sorry Royce, the game has evolved beyond you. In fact it has come full circle; you simply have to be a well-rounded fighter to win, no matter whether your specialty is stand-up or rolling. I appreciate what you did for the sport, but groundfighting ain't everything. Hit the gym and focus on your striking skills.
Click for Full Post