Royler Gracie’s farewell to MMA won’t just be a festive occasion, this coming September 14. As announced, the diminutive 45-year-old will do battle in Manaus against a Japanese fighter riding a three-fight winning streak who has only ever lost once in his career. Masakutsu Ueda, 33, is the champion of the Shooto promotion and is ranked by MMAWeekly.com as one of the top ten bantamweights currently in MMA.
With a wrestling background, Ueda, back in his college days, beat a well-known rival, his compatriot Kid Yamamoto, who now fights in the UFC. Check out a video of Ueda’s only loss ever – by submission – in the video below:
Royler, who arrived in Amazonas state early to get used to the hot and humid climate, said he’s ready for anything, as he gets ready for Amazon Forest Combat, where he will be having his final fight.
“Having my farewell fight in Brazil was a priority to me. Fighting here has a different feeling to it, especially in Manaus, one of the world’s greatest breeding grounds for MMA and, mainly, Jiu-Jitsu fighters,” the Gracie told Terra website reporter Eduardo Cruz. “The card exceeds all expectations. You can tell they’re investing heavily, bringing in a lot of people from abroad. My mind and body are in synch, in perfect working order. I had a good training camp in California and had the chance to train with a bunch of professional MMA fighters, even some from the UFC and Strikeforce.”
Amazon Forest Combat is set to go down at 8pm on September 14 at the Amadeu Teixeira Arena, a venue with a 12,000-spectator capacity. Mario Yamasaki will be head referee for the event.
Professor Royler has already set up shop in Manaus, where he’s staying at the sumptuous Tropical Hotel, which even features a zoo on the premises. The biggest beasts, however, can be found in the lobby. Check out the card released by the event’s promoters:
Amazon Forest Combat
September 14, 2011
Amadeu Teixeira Arena, Manaus, Brazil
Royler Gracie vs Masakatsu Ueda
Josh Burkam vs Roan Jucão
Paulão Filho vs Satoshi Ishii
Antonio Braga Neto vs Maiquel Falcão
Alexandre Capitão vs Shanon Slack
Jordan Smith vs Karo Parisyan
Ronnys Torres vs Drew Ficket
Dileno Lopes vs Danny Martinez
George Clay vs Anthony Birchack
Sergio Junior vs Daniel Acácio
Rivaldo Jr vs André Leocádio