Matt Hughes is one of the stars that helped the UFC survive through the "dark ages". He popularized the term "your not a champion until you defend the belt". He is one of the most recognizeable fighters in the UFC. Matt Hughes has been taking heat from fans and fighters for not fighting top competition in the UFC. It has not seemed to affect the former UFC champion. Hughes knows what he is right now and he wants to go out on his terms. Picking a fighter that has not fought in 3 years is a good way to secure a win. Which brings up the question why did the UFC give Renzo a 6 fight contract? Renzo has been content teaching his students in New York lately. Just like any competitive person, Renzo had the "itch" to fight again. The last time a Gracie won in the Octagon was UFC 4. Renzo was never a great MMA fighter, he was a bit past his prime when he started MMA. I don't think Renzo will leave MMA with a win, at least not in this fight.
I'm going to be blunt, this is going to be an awful fight to watch. Hughes is going to get the fight to the floor early and often. Renzo doesn't look like he has cut much weight to make 170. How will he handle Hughes strength? He doesn't have the speed advantage, in fact I can't think of one advantage Renzo has. Renzo is not going to submit Hughes because Hughes is either going to be in Half-guard or Side control all day. I can't think of a single way Renzo can with this fight. Look for Hughes to work mostly in half-guard pounding on the 5th degree black belt. Slowly and methodically Hughes will move his way to side control and continue to ground and pound his way for a TKO. Maybe we see some vintage Crucifix action form Hughes. Either way I see Hughes getting a stoppage on the rusty Renzo. I am about as excited for this fight as I am for Blackburn vs. Johnson. This fight has no meaning, other than for Hughes to go out on a win.