The most controversial decision rendered in 2009 will hopefully come to a resolution at UFC 113 on May 8th. The event takes place inside the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada and will be headlined by a light heavyweight rematch between Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida.
The pair initially met in a hard-fought battle at UFC 104 this past October. Although the champ was awarded a 48-47 score from all three judges sitting Octagon-side, most, if not all, of the fans inside Staples Center in Los Angeles believed Machida got away with highway robbery.
“The feeling after the judges’ decision was announced was like someone tore out my heart,” Rua says. “What gave me comfort was to see my corner men support me, the crowd behind me thinking that I won the fight. When I went back to the hotel, the amount of care and support I got from the fans, everybody was telling me I won.
“This gave me some comfort and what matters most is I’m getting a second chance. I was very happy with the offer of a rematch with Machida. I feel very motivated and I’m training very hard.”
The verdict was so outrageous, it prompted UFC president Dana White to schedule an immediate mulligan.
Although he’s grateful for another opportunity to don Octagon gold, Shogun promises that he won’t allow his fate to lie in the hands of the judges this time around.
“I’m looking to make a statement with this fight and finish it in a decisive way,” Rua says. “I’m a fighter that always fights to finish fights.”
Speaking of aggressiveness, Shogun took a slight dig at the champ and his elusive ways. The challenger appears perplexed that Machida gets so much love to “dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge” his opponents.
“It really bothers me that people don’t really give me value – someone that is pressing the fight,” said Rua. “I think people should reward it because I really don’t understand how a guy who only walks backwards will be more recognized than someone who is pressing the fight and who is really trying to engage and make it a fight.”
Let the pre-fight hype being!