Gracie was originally scheduled to fight Matt Hughes in Sepember
The summer time makes for some of the best competitive grappling events of the year. Whether it’s IBJJF Worlds or one of the major promotions putting on a card like Polaris 5, this time of year features the fights that fans and competitors want to see. This is an ADCC year with the big event set for September in Finland. News broke this week that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and mixed martial arts legend, Renzo Gracie, has an opponent to round out the super fights.
FloGrappling broke the news on Thursday that Gracie is set to face off against Japanese competitor, Sanae Kikuta. Kikuta and Gracie have a similar backstory as both men competed at the highest levels in grappling and professional MMA. Their resumes include organizations such as Pride, UFC, Pancrase, and others. In fact, these two fought through six tough rounds of action back in 1998 at Pride 2 where Gracie earned the victory via submission.
Gracie is a two-time ADCC champion, winning back in 1998 and 2000. Kikuta has his own ADCC title to claim as he won gold back in 2001.
Gracie was originally scheduled to face former UFC welterweight champion, Matt Hughes. Hughes was involved in a tragic auto accident on June 16 that forced him out of the competition. Hughes has been hospitalized since the accident.
Gracie, 50, last appeared on the competitive grappling scene when he fought his famed rival, Kazushi Sakuraba, at Metamoris V. The bout ended in a draw. The last time he stepped into an ADCC super fight was back in 2011 where he lost on points to Mario Sperry. Kikuta, 45, hasn’t been as active in the grappling world, but he last competed in mixed martial arts back in 2014 at Real Fight Championship 1.
The Gracie versus Kikuta fight rounds out the slate of ADCC super fights. The other bouts include Chael Sonnen versus Frank Mir and Andre Galvao versus Claudio Calasans.
The 2017 ADCC World Championships is scheduled for September 23-24. Viewers can tune into the livestream via FloGrappling.