Fighter's Corner

May 6, 2010 5:54 PM

UFC 113: Machida vs. Shogun II preview

The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Montreal, Quebec with UFC 113 featuring one of the more highly anticipated rematches as Lyoto Machida and Shogun Rua go back at it to decide the Light Heavyweight Championship.

Also on the card, welterweights Josh Koscheck and Paul Daley will do battle to decide the next contender for Georges St.-Pierre's 170 lb strap not to mention whose teeth stay intact post fight.

The Montreal fans will also get to watch native son middleweight Patrick Cote take on Alan Belcher in his return to the cage after a 19 month hiatus due to a severe knee injury. Cote will no doubt be facing a little extra pressure to perform in front of the hometown faithful.

And there is Kimbo Slice (4-1) and Matt Mitrione (1-0) facing off, Sam Stout (16-5-1) battling fellow lightweight Jeremy Stephens (17-5), welterweights Marcus Davis (21-7) fighting Jonathon Goulet (22-10) and heavyweights Tim Hague (10-3) fighting Joey Beltran (11-3) in undercard action.

This event is all about the main event, though.

In the original fight back in October at UFC 104, Rua looked to have completed the improbable upset over the champion Machida in his first title defense. Yet the judges ringside saw it another way, scoring the fight 48-47 for the champion.

After the fight ended, there was enough controversy that UFC President Dana White awarded Rua an immediate rematch and now the two Brazilians get to do it all over again.

Coming into this rematch, much of the discussion is around which fighter will alter their gameplan and in what way. Will Rua stick to the leg kicks that gave Machida such a tough time, even breaking a couple of his ribs? And will Machida continue to sit on the outside -- as per his style -- while Rua tees off with the kicks or will he fight on the inside for once?

Ultimately, those questions are what make the rematch so intriguing. Not to mention the fact that Rua knows he can't leave this fight in the hands of the judges and perhaps is coming in with more confidence knowing his gameplan works on Machida.

This fight will determine who the undisputed Light Heavyweight Champion is for the first time in about eight months and create some much needed turnover within the division. Because at the end of the month a potential No. 1 contender match featuring former division champions Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Rashad Evans will go down to determine the next challenger.

And with Koscheck and Daley talking enough trash leading up to their fight to fill out the entire card, the fireworks are sure to go off within the Bell Centre.

It's an important night that could jumpstart multiple divisions as the highly anticipated summer approaches.

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