Time to unleash ‘The Dragon’! Coming up Saturday 8th May, at the Bell Centre Montreal, Quebec, Canada, is one of the most highly anticipated rematches, in the world of mixed martial arts competition.
When Shogun Rua challenged fellow Brazilian Lyoto ‘The Dragon’ Machida, losing on a points decision, we knew it wasn’t final. Dana White almost immediately announced a rematch would be booked. The UFC powers that be have kept to their word, once again Karate will battle Muay Thai kick-boxing within the confines of the octagon.
Clearly there was good reason for signing up a second light-heavyweight title clash between this pair of elite cage warriors. The majority saw the fight won by Shogun due to the damage inflicted but the cage-side judges saw the outcome differently. I applaud the UFC for choosing to match them up once more to decide who truly is the mixed martial artist deserving of the light-heavyweight belt.
In previous UFC fights it was rare for Machida to receive a strike, due to an elusive almost Kangeroo-like in and out Karate style. Former top rung Pride FC competitor Shogun broke the chain, inflicting pain, chopping at The Dragon with his Muay Thai leg kicks. Rua is likely to utilise his leg kicks once again, attempting to take the spring out of the light-heavyweight champions legs.
Hopefully second time around the decision won’t be left in the judges hands, on Saturday at the Montreal Bell Centre. We don’t want more indecision, a kin to the current situation following the British General Election. Whatever happens the contest looks to be highly competitive. It’s going to be a war!
Backing up the main event, sees our very own home-grown contender, Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley booked in showdown with former ultimate fighter contestant Josh Koscheck. Both battlers have a chance of rising up against welterweight king Georges ‘Rush’ St Pierre.
Adding to the drama Dana White recently announced the number one contender will coach opposite GSP on the next season of TUF. Got to say I’m loving the possibility of another Brit following in the footsteps of Mike Bisping on TUF 12.
The build-up to their cage-clash has been entertaining to say the least. Both guys are not afraid of coming forward, airing their opinions. Koscheck is the one who stepped up to Dan Hardy laying down the gauntlet previously.
Brit Daley fighting out of Nottingham’s Rough House – the same gym as GSP’s last challenger Dan ‘The Outlaw’ Hardy has been trading insults, referring to Koscheck as a “Fraggle”. Nothing like a bit banter to get inside an opponent’s head, gaining media attention, helping to sell tickets.
Banter includes some online fan from the fans, participating in a Josh Koscheck new hairstyle photoshop competition. Check the 2 other recent blog posts for more some great examples from the competition: Guido Josh & this fan video
Trash talking aside, who’s to win and how? Koscheck undoubtedly boasts the ground advantage, but if Semtex Daley keeps the fight standing Kos could be going to sleep courtesy of Daley big bombs. Paul Daley’s got awesome knock-out power, but Daley is going to need excellent take-down defence against division 1 wrestler Koscheck. Unfortunately this is what stable mate Hardy lacked when he locked horns with GSP. Semtex needs to have the take-down defence in place or the Brit will be out classed on the canvas.
We’ll witness a returning Kimbo Slice on Saturday. Kimbo once a controversial figure for defunct Elite XC on CBS, now a fully-fledged fan favourite, thanks to his appearance on The Ultimate Fighter: The Heavyweights. Slice earned many a fan, working hard on the MMA reality TV series, under the tutelage of ever popular cage-fighting bad-ass Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson.
The fighter stepping into the 8-sided cage with Slice at UFC 113 will be none other than Matt Mitrione, another TUF 9 competitor. Nick-named Meat Head on the show, Mitrione trained under coach Rashad Evans, the opponent for Rampage later this month at UFC 114.
Kimbo already built up a name before TUF 10, the reality show made him even bigger. Mitrione on the other hand is an interesting character in different ways. He plays some games that can put the opponent off balance. Mitrone doesn’t have much to lose, if he beats Kimbo he makes a name for himself, alternatively Slice as name fighter could lose some pulling power if he isn’t the man with his arm raised afterwards.
Mitrione and Kimbo are both hard hitting sluggers, the difference will show in other areas where the TUF aluminis have progressed. We know from last time we saw Kimbo he’s now got some ground game. I’m calling a Mitrione upset.
The advertised fight card in full.
Lyoto Machida vs Mauricio Rua -Light Heavyweight Championship
Josh Koscheck vs Paul Daley
Sam Stout vs Jeremy Stephens
Kimbo Slice vs Matt Mitrione
Patrick Cote vs Alan Belcher
Tim Credeur vs Tom Lawlor
Marcus Davies vs Jonathan Goulet
TJ Grant vs Johny Hendricks
Joey Beltran vs Chad Corvin
Yoshiyuki vs Mike Guymon
Nick Catone vs John Salter
Subscribers can watch UFC 113 live on ESPN, in the early hours of Sunday morning, pay per view in North America.
UFC & MMA blog by Duane Farr