Rematch made in UFC heaven

Mauricio (Shogun) Rua (right) lands a punch against Lyoto (The Dragon) Machida at UFC 104 last...

Mauricio (Shogun) Rua (right) lands a punch against Lyoto (The Dragon) Machida at UFC 104 last year. (UFC handout photo)

NEIL SPRINGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:37 AM ET

MONTREAL -- It's rare that a title challenger gets an immediate rematch in mixed martial arts.

When Mauricio (Shogun) Rua steps into the cage Saturday against light-heavyweight champion Lyoto (The Dragon) Machida at UFC 113 in Montreal, he will become only the second person in UFC history to do so.

The last fighter to find himself in such a position was Pedro (The Rock) Rizzo, who earned another crack at the gold after losing a controversial decision at UFC 31 on May 4, 2001 to then heavyweight titleholder Randy (The Natural) Couture.

However, Rua (18-4), who many feel was robbed against Machida (16-0) at UFC 104 in October, doesn't want to follow too closely in those footsteps. After all, Rizzo (17-9) went on to lose his rematch by TKO six months later at UFC 34.

Though he felt he won the first encounter, Rua doesn't see himself as a king without a crown.

"No, not at all," Rua said through his translator. "I will consider myself the champion when I get the belt.

"I have watched the fight a number of times and I still think I won, despite what the judges scored it. Regardless, I expect Lyoto Machida to come with a different strategy. I spoke with my team, we discussed it and came up with a different strategy as well."

Machida, who is no doubt tired of hearing about the first fight, said he beat Rua fair and square.

"I still feel I won the fight, but people can say whatever they want," Machida said through his translator. "The fact is, I won.

"In the last fight, I think they did a really good job of studying my game. They studied it well, but they didn't do enough to beat me."

Both men will get the chance to prove who the better fighter is Saturday night.

In the co-main event, Josh (Kos) Koscheck and Paul (Semtex) Daley will battle for a welterweight title shot and coaching spot on The Ultimate Fighter opposite division champion Georges (Rush) St. Pierre.

While there has been a fair amount of trash-talk leading up to the bout, both guys have toned it down now that UFC 113 has arrived. However, in February Daley (23-8-2) started an online contest for fans to come up with a new hairstyle for Koscheck (14-4), who he says looks like a character from Jim Henson's 1980s TV show Fraggle Rock.

At the pre-fight press conference Daley showed off the winning entry -- a digitally-altered photo of Koscheck as late artist and television host Bob Ross.

"Koscheck, this is what fans think you should do to your hair," Daley said. "Me, personally, I love your hair."

Koscheck -- who is no stranger to letting the venom fly, having once referred to St. Pierre (20-2) as mentally weak -- opted not to respond. With confidence in his game plan, he said he'll let his actions do the talking.

"I don't have a problem standing with anybody," Koscheck said. "I've been hit with the kitchen sink from a lot of the best strikers in this division and come out winning. That's what I do and I plan on winning Saturday night."

In another marquee match, The Ultimate Fighter season 10 alumni Kevin (Kimbo Slice) Ferguson and Matt Mitrione throw down. Though the two were on opposite teams, they never fought on the show. Since their time in the house, Mitrione (1-0) has scored a knockout win over Marcus (Big Baby) Jones, while Ferguson (4-1) earned a boring unanimous decision victory over Houston (The Assassin) Alexander.

Mitrione guaranteed he'll stand and fight, unlike Alexander (9-6) who was overly defensive.

"We're supposed to punch each other? I was planning on rolling a little bit," Mitrione said jokingly. "I don't feel pressure at all. That's what (Kimbo) and me do. We let them fly.

"He and I feel most comfortable standing up and trading leather. I'm sure we'll go the ground at some point in time, when either I get knocked out or he gets knocked out."

Ferguson said he hopes it stays standing, but is prepared to go wherever the fight may take him.

"I've evolved," Ferguson said. "I came from being a street fighter; I was one-dimensional a couple years back. Every day it gets better for me. If anyone has a chance to beat me, it was yesterday."

Seven Canadian fighters help round out the card.

Quebec's Patrick (The Predator) Cote faces Alan (The Talent) Belcher, Ontario's Sam (Hands of Stone) Stout challenges Jeremy (Lil' Heathen) Stephens, Nova Scotia's T.J. Grant meets Johny Hendricks, Manitoba's Joe (El Dirte) Doerksen takes on Tom (Filthy) Lawlor, Albertan Tim (The Thrashing Machine) Hague battles Joey (Mexicutioner) Beltran, Quebec's Jonathan (The Road Warrior) Goulet squares off with Marcus (Irish Hand Grenade) Davis, and Nova Scotia native Jason (The Athlete) MacDonald makes his UFC return against John Salter.

Full UFC 113 card:

Lyoto Machida vs. Mauricio Rua
Josh Koscheck vs. Paul Daley
Sam Stout vs. Jeremy Stephens
Kevin Ferguson vs. Matt Mitrione
Patrick Cote vs. Alan Belcher
Joe Doerksen vs. Tom Lawlor
Marcus Davis vs. Jonathan Goulet
T.J. Grant vs. Johny Hendricks
Tim Hague vs. Joey Beltran
Yoshiyuki Yoshida vs. Mike Guymon
Jason MacDonald vs. John Salter


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