Last month, I wrote about UFC 59: Reality Checked at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim and how it was the first mixed martial arts (MMA) show in Southern California sanctioned by the California State Athletic Commission.
Tonight is UFC 60 at the Staples Center in Downtown L.A., headlined by Welterweight Champion Matt Hughes vs. Royce Gracie (the winner of the first UFC in 1993 and a member of the first family of fighting, as his father Helio Gracie is the founder of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu). To the best of my knowledge, it’s the first MMA show in the local Los Angeles area, and interestingly enough UFC apparently overestimated demand, as tickets were reportedly overpriced ($200.00-$1,000.00 on Ticketmaster) and the show is still not sold out.
Dave Meltzer provides his perspective on the main event:
If you care in the least about UFC, you’ve seen as much hype for this as any fight in history. It’s three rounds, which favors Hughes. Almost all the smart money is on Hughes, but one mistake and it can be over. Hughes wants to stand. Gracie has more reach, by far, but has never shown much standing. He’s also 39, and looked bad in his last outing. This is more a curiosity fight than what looks on paper to be a great fight. For a lot of reasons, I wish it was five rounds, because Hughes winning a decision, the most likely outcome, is going to make it feel anti-climactic. Truthfully, it would be quite surprising for this match to live nearly up to the hype, and nobody is buying the show for anything underneath.
More after the jump.
Updating an issue I had brought up in that previous article regarding UFC 59 and 60, it appears that Armando Garcia of the CSAC has allowed the throwing of elbows while fighters are on the ground and didn’t change the fighters’ gloves from the existing four ounces to eight ounces.
Celebrities scheduled to be in attendance tonight include The Rock and if past history is any indication, Paris Hilton.
(Special thanks to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter in the preparation of this article.)