Las Vegas, NV (USA) – The world’s most exciting sport returns to the Emerald Isle as the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) organization opens up 2009 with the star-powered UFC 93 card at the O2-Dublin in Dublin, Ireland on January 17, 2009.
In the light heavyweight main event, former two-division world champion Dan Henderson will collide with former UFC middleweight king Rich Franklin in three-round war which will set the tone for the 205lbs division in 2009.
Then, 2005 PRIDE® Grand Prix Champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua returns to the Octagon™ to throw down with UFC Hall of Famer Mark Coleman in a rematch MMA fans thought they would never see. The pair last met in Japan in 2006, with the legendary Coleman pulling off a stunning upset by breaking Rua’s arm in the first round.
"Rich Franklin vs. Dan Henderson is a battle between two great former champions who are both looking to get another chance to wear a world title around their waist," said Dana White, UFC President. "Franklin is the former UFC Middleweight champion, and he’s a dangerous striker with solid submission skills – he also showed great takedown defense in his September destruction of powerful wrestler Matt Hamill. Dan Henderson is the former PRIDE Welterweight and Middleweight champion. He’s a world class wrestler, known for his great chin and his one punch knockout power. He defeated formidable Brazilian submission specialist Rousimar Palhares in September. These are two fan favorites with a lot of pride on the line as they want to show that they are still among the very best fighters in the world."
First of all...why is the Henderson/Franklin match at 205lb? Couldn't they show they are still among the very best fighters in the world in a MW contest? Yes, it's a fight that everybody and their momma wants to see, but not at 205. Yes, I know that neither of them can beat Anderson Silva...but at this point you are pretty much dilluting the little bit of depth you have in the division. Especially considering how stacked the 205 division is at the moment....maybe I'm not seeing the bigger picture. I mean I know Paulo Filho is coming to the UFC MW division from the WEC...but still. Maybe the UFC will be signing some additional MW talent in the near future from organizations that might not be around in a few months? Hmm...
As far as Shogun/Coleman...I understand the thought process, but I don't agree with it. Yea, it's a rematch that nobody knows about unless they are a die hard MMA fan. It's a gimmie fight for Shogun to win and get himself back on track, but beating Coleman does nothing for him. A win over Houston Alexander would do more for Shogun than a win over Coleman. Meanwhile the UFC could use Coleman to get over some of their young HW prospects like Shane Carwin or Cain Velasquez. I'll keep an open mind...but I'm not liking this card at the present time.