Working out with Frankie Edgar and Roger Gracie has Renzo Gracie thinking about a return to the cage.
Whether it's in the UFC or somewhere else remains to be seen, but the MMA forefather said he could be fighting in the next five months.
"I've been training with these guys, and they're as tough as you can get," Gracie (13-7 MMA, 0-1 UFC) told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio
). "I've been hanging around with them and having fun, so for sure I'll be ready [by] the end of the year to have some fun too."
Of course, the jiu-jitsu master, who's been a threat to any mere hoodlum looking for trouble on the streets, would rather have his fun in the octagon. That's where he last strapped on gloves and fought, and while his UFC 112 bout with UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes didn't go his way – and wasn't exactly must-see TV – he remains under contract with the promotion.
It's now just a matter of convincing Zuffa executives to let him fight, or let him go.
"The UFC, they became a machine," Gracie said. "So if you're name is not out there and you're not fighting, it's difficult to keep yourself (busy).
"So it's like if I don't fight there, I don't mind. I'll be fighting for ONE; I'll be fighting a Japanese organization. This for me is fun, and thank god I don't need the money to do it."
Gracie, who trains several UFC vets at his popular academy in New York City, said he's sharpened his skills working alongside peers as they prepare for octagon bouts. Now he wants to put them into practice.
"I've begun getting in shape, and I don't believe I'll have a problem to find a place to fight," he said. "I do it because I like it, and I do believe it improves you and makes you better. It keeps you sharp and brings you a knowledge that you can pass ahead to the people you train."
Prior to UFC 112, Gracie hadn't fought in three years. His appearance in the 2007 debut of EliteXC ended in controversy, as opponent Frank Shamrock was disqualified for throwing an illegal knee. He faired better in a pair of appearances with the now-defunct IFL, winning bouts against fellow MMA legends Pat Miletich and Carlos Newton.
Asked whom he'd like to fight in a return, Gracie said, "I would rather fight someone tough. Don't bring me no wimp. Don't insult me – bring me someone there that can beat me up."