In the co-main event, both fighters have something to prove.
Mauricio (Shogun) Rua has yet to live up to his own legacy since stepping into the octagon. The 2005 PRIDE FC middleweight grand prix winner has looked slow and plodding compared to the fighter who turned Quinton Jackson into a human punching bag.
"I've had a very good career so far, but my lowest point was when I had two knee surgeries in a row," Rua said. "Nowadays I'm 100 per cent healed and I intend on giving my best on this fight. Hopefully, this will be the next great stage of my career."
At UFC 97 he takes on Chuck (The Iceman) Liddell. A knockout victory over the former UFC light-heavyweight champion would go a long way to proving he isn't a shadow of his former self.
For Liddell, who suffered a devastating knockout at the hands of Rashad Evans in his last outing, another loss could mean the end of his time in the UFC.
"I got a little impatient and over-excited," Liddell said. "I got into a bad position and got caught. I don't think it's because I'm predictable. I mean, I'm predictable because you know I'm going to throw punches at you and try to knock you out, but I don't think it's that simple."
A win over Rua will show Liddell is still a dangerous competitor in the light-heavyweight division.
"I've got a tough opponent in front of me, so I'm going to get ready for him," Liddell said. "First I'll worry about winning this fight and then I'll start worrying about what (happens next) after."
Though Liddell has fallen from grace, going 1-3 in his last four fights, Rua feels his opponent is still as dangerous as when he was on top of the light-heavyweight division.
"Liddell is a great fighter -- very dangerous," Rua said. "I like fighting tough opponents; that is what motivates me. I'm (approaching) this fight as though I'm facing the best Chuck Liddell possible."