Thursday, January 21, 2010

Montreal's UFC 113 Gets A New Date; Avoids Scheduling Conflict With Mayweather Fight

The UFC announced today that UFC 113: Machida vs. Shogun II has been moved ahead one week to May, 8th, from its previously rumoured date of May, 1st. The main reason for the shift appears to have been avoiding direct competition with a recently-announced boxing PPV card headlined by Floyd Mayweather (40-0) vs. "Sugar" Shane Mosely (46-5-1).

This move was not entirely expected, however, because UFC 113 would likely have fared well against Mayweather vs. Mosley given the high anticipation for its main-event rematch between UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida (16-0) and returning challenger Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (18-4)

Interest in this fight stems from the fact that many observers feel "Shogun" already rightfully became the first to ever slay "The Dragon" last October via a five-round barrage of leg kicks that earned Rua only a unanimous decision loss. Of course, others argue that Machida won the first three frames and only drastically tailed off in the fifth round, thus creating the appearance of a rout for Rua by leaving the lasting image of "Shogun's" relentless, final-round, leg chops in viewers' minds. Machida's fans also point out that Lyoto was more clearly attempting to finish the fight throughout. While most media and fans appear more sympathetic to "Shogun," the entire MMA world is curious to see if Mauricio Rua can be as effective in the rematch, either with the same strategy or with a new one. Many are also eager to learn if Lyoto Machida has come up with an answer to the "lumberjack" tactic employed by "Shogun" in their first fight.

Serving as the co-main event at UFC 113: Machida vs. Shogun is a potential welterweight title eliminator bout between UFC veteran Josh Koscheck (14-4) and the octagon's upstart KO machine Paul "Semtex" Daley (23-8-2). Canadian UFC fans, in particular, will find lots to love at Montreal's UFC 113, which features our own Patrick Cote (13-5), Sam Stout (15-5-1), TJ Grant (15-3) and Jonathan Goulet (22-10). Internet sensation "Kimbo Slice" (4-1) is also rumoured to be on the card.

In the end, Mayweather vs. Mosley may not be the "Fight of the Century" that Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao (50-3-2) would have been, but it was apparently enough to warrant moving MMA's most anticipated rematch to a later date. It is looking more-and-more like the UFC is serious about peaceful co-existence with professional boxing.

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