Bad blood adds to UFC 93 grudge match

JOSE RODRIGUEZ

, Last Updated: 10:28 AM ET

Their first fight ended in the MMA equivalent of a bench-clearing brawl.

With Mark Coleman and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua jostling for advantage, Rua tripped and fell awkwardly to the mat, landing on his palm and snapping his arm.

With Rua down, Coleman pounced in a bid to unload his trademark ground-and-pound.

The referee, noticing Rua's contorted right arm and obvious pain, stepped in to pull off Coleman.

At the same time, Rua's twin, Murilo "Ninja" Rua, dove into the ring to tend to his sibling.

Coleman threw the official to one side and began making his way toward Murilo, yelling and gesturing.

Within seconds, Phil Baroni had entered from Coleman's corner and Wanderlei Silva jumped the ropes from the other side.

What followed was more like a scene out of WWE RAW than the world-renowned Pride Fighting Championship.

With Rua writhing in pain as his elbow was set back into place, Baroni took Silva to the mat, and Coleman stepped on Silva's head as a gaggle of officials and cornermen struggled to break up the melee.

Back stage following the 2006 event in Japan, Coleman apologized as the two groups met in the hallway dividing their change rooms.

The Brazilians, with Silva the most outspoken, refused to accept the apology.

That set the stage for tonight's co-main event at UFC 93 in Dublin, Ireland.

Bad blood and history make this rematch the most drama-laden in a card that lacks the star power of the previous three UFC numbered events.

INCENTIVE FOR RUA

Coleman, inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame last March, maintains he had no idea Rua had suffered a fight-ending injury and only reacted naturally when he saw a third fighter step into the ring.

Regardless, Coleman knows the aftermath of that fight and Rua's injury could be added incentive for the light-heavyweight Muay Thai specialist.

Rua tells UFC.com he harbours no ill will toward Coleman despite the post-fight debacle.

"What I think the most about the first fight is that it wasn't really finished, so we have to really settle this and fight fair and square to see who's the best," says Rua, who has a record of 16-3.

Both fighters will also have to shake off some cage rust.

Coleman's last fight came in October 2006, a loss to heavyweight pretzel maker Fedor Emelianenko. Rua, meanwhile, has had two knee surgeries since his loss to Forrest Griffin in September 2007.

The 15-8 Coleman, who won UFC 10 and 11 and finished seventh as a wrestler at the 1992 Olympics, says he knows how to beat Rua.

"His weakness is his weakness," Coleman tells ESPN.

"I am the stronger man. I have to take it to him."

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IN THIS CORNER

MARCUS 'IRISH HAND GRENADE' DAVIS, MIXED MARTIAL ARTS

Boasted a 17-1-2 record as a pro boxer before turning his talents to MMA ... The Maine native has trained with Pat Miletich and currently trains with Mark Dellagrotte's Team Sityodtong that includes Kenny Florian and Quebec's Patrick "The Predator" Cote ... Nickname lies in his family's roots -- Waterford, Ireland ... Twice married, twice divorced with four children ... A staple of UFC overseas fights and has developed a fan base in Ireland, where he takes on Chris Lytle tonight.

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ON THE CARD

FUTURE FIGHTS AND EVENTS

- UFC 93 goes tonight from Dublin, Ireland. Main co-events feature Dan Henderson against Rich Franklin, and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua taking on Mark Coleman. Available on pay- per-view.

- Affliction Day of Reckoning goes Jan. 24 from Anaheim. WAMMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko vs. Andrei Arlovski and Josh Barnett vs. Gilbert Yvel. On pay-per-view.


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