Light heavyweight contender Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (16-3) will return to the Octagon to rematch Mark Coleman (15-8) in a 205-pound showdown at UFC 93 at The O2 in Dublin, Ireland, on January 17, 2009.
"The Hammer" defeated Rua in controversial fashion at PRIDE 31 back in 2006 when an awkward landing broke the Brazilian’s arm less than a minute into the fight. It was a bitter "fluke" loss for the 2005 Pride FC Grand Prix Champion and one that he has been out to avenge ever since it happened.
Rua made his debut with the promotion with much fanfare and promise late last year, being billed as the top 205-pound fighter in the world. He then lost his first match via third round submission (rear naked choke) in an action-packed fight against Forrest Griffin at UFC 76: "Knockout" in September 2007.
Griffin went on to challenge for and win the light heavyweight championship. Meanwhile, Rua had surgery to repair a knee injury, which he then re-injured several months later while training for a fight against Chuck Liddell at UFC 85: "Bedlam" in June that never happened.
He has not competed since the loss to Griffin. And when he does step inside the Octagon against Coleman he will have been on the sidelines for almost a year and a half.
Coleman — the first-ever UFC heavyweight champion and most recent inductee into the promotion's hall of fame — will return to the Octagon for the first time since 1999. He had a semi-successful run in the Pride FC organization, with the highlight of his work overseas being the champion of the first-ever open weight grand prix in 2000.
Since that time, however, the 43-year-old has compiled an average record (4-4), taking on some of the best competitors in the division such as Fedor Emelianenko (two losses), Mirko Cro Cop (loss) and Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira (loss).
Coleman — the "Godfather" of the ground and pound — is a collegiate national wrestling champion for THE Ohio State University and competed in the Olympics in 1992. He was supposed to challenge Brock Lesnar in his return to the promotion in August before his own injury forced him off the card.
UFC 93 features a main event between light heavyweights and former champions Rich Franklin and Dan Henderson. It will air on pay-per-view (PPV) at 10 p.m. ET on fight night.