UFC Hall of Famer, and one of the most recognized fighter's in the sport today, Matt Hughes will step into the octagon for the 52nd time, against welterweight contender, Ricardo Almeida.

A Renzo Gracie student, Almeida has made a successful transition to the 170 pound division after a well established career as a middleweight, which has seen him garner wins over the likes of Kendall Grove, Kazuo Misako, and perennial contender Nate Marquardt.

Matt Hughes, has had a long and storied career in the UFC. After making his debut nearly 10 years ago, a 20 second submission loss to nemesis Dennis Hallman, Hughes would then go on to capture the welterweight title with a knockout slam over then champion Carlos Newton, and would then go on to set the precedent for 5 consecutive defenses--the most ever cemented in the welterweight division.

While both have had successful careers, it's Hughes who will be garnering the most attention come this Saturday, for several reasons dating back since 2000.

In 2000, Hughes was a participant in the Abu Dhabi competitions, where he crossed paths with Ricardo Almedia, winning on points in the grappling tournament. Six years later, at UFC 60, Matt Hughes defeated former multiple-time UFC tournament champion Royce Gracie, and made it look easy. After taking the fight to the floor--which most eluded to being the Gracie's sweet spot with his obvious ground prowess--the two Hall of Famer's engaged in what turned into a one-sided beatdown, with Hughes able to secure back mount, and after a failed submission attempt, settled for pounding the legend, before he was saved by the referee.

Thereafter, Hughes would go on to eventually lose his title to current kingpin Georges St. Pierre, and follow up the loss with another to top contender Thiago Alves, before bouncing back with back-to-back wins over foe and former champion Matt Serra, and the aforementioned Renzo Gracie.

In the bout with Renzo at UFC 112, the bout saw Hughes take advantage of the aged Gracie, where after a sluggish start in the third round for the brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master, would eventually signal the end, as the 35-year-old, Hughes would end the welterweight contest after crippling him with leg kicks, and ending it with powerful punches against the fence, marking the first time that the former two-time champion had ended a fight with strikes, on the feet.

While Almeida has attested that he requested this bout, not out of malice or out of a sense of "revenge", it would be hard to imagine that while his master Renzo, and fellow idol Royce had fallen short to Hughes, that Almeida wouldn't feel a sense of urgency, to reclaim what was lost.

While Matt is riding a two-fight win streak, and with a "win" over Almeida, it's Ricardo who appears to have the upper hand. More athletic, explosive, competent striker is Ricardo over his predecessor Renzo, and with time on his side, it seems that Hughes' run through the Gracie clan may be short lived.

Do you think Hughes still has the upper hand? Or will Ricardo reclaim the Gracie name, and exact revenge?

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