The first UFC card of the year has a definite Pride FC theme to it. Three of the four co-main event stars were Pride FC fights and Pride champions at some stage of their MMA careers.
Fight Card for UFC 93
Rich Franklin vs. Dan Henderson
Mark Coleman vs. Mauricio Rua
Alan Belcher vs. Denis Kang
Jeremy Horn vs. Rousimar Palhares
Marcus Davis vs. Chris Lytle
Preliminary card (Not guaranteed to be televised)
Martin Kampmann vs. Alexandre Barros
Eric Schafer vs. Antonio Mendes
Tomasz Drwal vs. Ivan Serati
Nate Mohr vs. Dennis Siver
Thomas Egan vs. John Hathaway
It was only two years ago that Dan Henderson became the first man two hold both the Pride middleweight (the UFC equivalent of the light heavyweight title) and welterweight (the UFC equivalent of the middleweight title) at the same time. It was thought that he would become one of the mega stars of the UFC once the two companies merged. He was thrown to the wolfs straight away with a unification bout against the then UFC champion Quinton Rampage Jackson. A 5 round war ended in a close decision favouring the then UFC champion Jackson. Henderson was then forced to depend his Pride belt against one of the best fighters in the world Anderson Silva. The started of well however capitulated in the second round, a rear naked choke ended his run as the man a top the middleweight division.
Shogun Rua was perhaps the UFC’s most important acquisition in 2007. His exciting style and impressive record made him the then number one ranked light heavyweight fighter in the world. His first fight in the UFC was supposed to be nothing more than a warm up. He was the overwhelming favorite to get past Forrest Griffin. Rua was coming of an impressive victory over Alistair Overeem at Pride 32 while Griffin had just struggled to get past Hector Ramirez at UFC 72. Little did we know that Shogun had suffered a torn ACL in repartition for the bout. Predictably his performance was underwhelming. Even if it was a close fight we simply never got to see the real Shogun. His bad luck didn’t end their. When the UFC booked a comeback fight against Chuck Liddell he had a reoccurrence of the same injury. Shogun was out for another 6 months. Finally the Pride middleweight champion makes his comeback against long time foe Mark “The Hammer” Colemen.
To casual fans the name Mark Coleman may not be as significant as Randy Couture however to hardcore MMA fans “The Hammer” is one of the absolute legends of the sport. There are only a handful of MMA fighters that have achieved as much as he has achieved. Not only was a UFC tournament champion, he was also the first man to win the Pride OWGP in 2000. And yet at 44 years of age he still remains relevant in the fight game. He takes on the very dangerous Shogun Rua who is looking to revenge his loss to “The Hammer” in 2006. Not matter what happens this battle is bound to be entertaining. Fans around the world simply cant wait for these two warriors two make their comeback to the big leagues.
Its going to be a phenomenal fight card. I urge you to tune in, read our play by play and check out the live UFC 93 results right here.