After nearly seven long months, light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida will finally get the opportunity to avenge his controversial VICTORY over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua when the Brazilians meet tonight at UFC 113.
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 verdict was so questionable, it prompted UFC president Dana White to schedule an immediate rematch.
While the champ wasn’t upset a second scrap was arranged to determine, once and for all, who the world’s best 205-pounder is, he took exception to White’s constant reminders – to anyone and everyone that would listen – that he too believed Shogun was slighted.
“I know we’re cool,” White White told MMAFanhouse of his relationship with Machida. “I’m sure he’s not happy that I scored it for Shogun. Look, I’m always gonna be honest with who I thought won and who I think didn’t and that night I couldn’t tell ya.
“I scored that fight twice watching it on TV and I had Shogun winning the fight.”
It’s understandable for Machida to feel as though his boss doesn’t have his back, however “The Dragon” needs to remember that White is a promoter first and foremost.
How could he possibly sell a rematch to fans if he didn’t believe (or at least act like) it was unquestionably warranted?
“It’s not like me and Shogun are boys and we hang out all the time. I have the same relationship with him that I have with Machida,” White explained. “I like them both, I respect them both as fighters. I think Machida is an incredible fighter, I love his style. I’m just being honest with the way I scored the fight.”
Although Machida has perfected his elusive style en route to capturing a perfect 16-0 professional record, White believes the champ – and the challenger for that matter – will be out to prove a point inside the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
“I think this is going to be a completely different fight. I think they both learned a lot about each other and neither one of them liked the result,” said White. “Machida doesn’t like the fact people didn’t think he won that fight and Shogun doesn’t like the fact he didn’t’ win the fight.”