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MMA Rules: MMA Rules: Royce Gracie vs. Chad Rowan

GRACIE: Royce Gracie is 12-1-2 in MMA and a member of the family responsible for bringing the sport of Vale Tudo to the U.S. They put together some of the early Ultimate Fighting Championships and led the way to making MMA an international sport. Royce won the first, second and fourth UFC tournaments and defeated many fellow legends of the sport including Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn and Kimo Leopoldo. After five years away from active fighting, he came back and is 1-1-1 since his return.

ROWAN: Hawaiian-born Chad Rowan , better known as “Akebono,” was the Yokozuna or Sumo Grand Champion. Rowan competed at 6-foot-8, 500 pounds, but has lost some substantial weight and has officially retired from sumo competition. He has been training in kickboxing for K-1 but this will be his first MMA bout. “Akebono” is 0-5 in the K-1 with losses Bob Sapp, Remy Bonjasky, Rick Roufus and Musashi. He flew in personal trainer Mak Takano to help with strength and endurance for his debut. Takano trained MMA fighter BJ Penn as well as boxer Oscar de la Hoya and NBA star “Magic” Johnson.

MY PICK: Gracie. Royce looked chubby in the training pics but hopefully he hasn’t sacrificed speed for mass. Rowan’s skills are likely improving but once he chases Royce around and hits the mat, we could be seeing Emmanuel Yarborough- Daiju Takase all over again. And remember, if the fight goes the full two 10-minute rounds it is ruled a draw, so I say Gracie by submission, possibly a triangle choke.