This Wednesday in California Royler’s telephone was ringing off the hook. “What a bomb, huh?” said the black belt with a laugh, when he picked up a call from GRACIEMAG.com.
The subject was, of course, the September ADCC tournament in England and Royler’s supermatch against Eddie Bravo, the only man to ever submit him in no-gi grappling, with a triangle that came out of left field in the quarterfinals at ADCC 2003, in São Paulo. Eddie’s next match saw him lose to Léo Vieira by 15 to 0.
In another supermatch, Renzo Gracie will face Zé Mario Sperry. Now the ADCC superchampion-deciding bout is between Bráulio Estima (2009’s absolute champion) and Ronaldo Jacaré (winner of 2009 superfight).
“Even though he beat me, every now and again I catch word that Eddie Bravo wants to go again,” said Royler. Perhaps Bravo wants a sequel to prove it was no fluke. “So I’ll let him have a rematch,” said the Gracie, jokingly.
The match contract hasn’t been signed, but to Royler it’s a done deal: “I spoke with Renzo yesterday and the folks in Abu Dhabi really want to put together these two matchups, so I feel it will go through. I’ve never been out of shape, but it’s always nice to have a good reason to train hard; it’s a match a lot of folks have been asking for and one I’d like to do too.”
“I didn’t talk to Renzo about his plans for training, but we’ll discuss it; Renzo’s really strong right now, has been doing those grueling training sessions he likes so much, so I don’t think he’ll have too much difficulty, even if Zé Mario may be heavier. Renzo is always charged up, always putting himself to the test, so Zé Mario had best show up well trained, otherwise he’ll be biting off more than he can chew,” said Royler with excitement.
Now about his match with Bravo, might Royler fear having another lapse and getting blindsided with another submission? Royler was quick to respond: “Lightning never strikes twice in the same place, nor kills the same horse.”
Before bidding farewell, Royler commented on Royce’s return to the UFC. “I don’t know of any news; what we spoke about in Toronto was a potential matchup between Royce and Matt Hughes, but as Matt signed to fight Diego Sanchez, the idea was put on the back burner. As far as I know, he won’t be fighting in Rio,” the Gracie said in closing.