Everyone expected Mauricio "Shogun" Rua to face Chuck Liddell next if he defeated Mark Coleman at UFC 93, and now that Rua held up his end of the bargain today in Dublin, it appears that the Rua-Liddell fight is set for UFC 97 in Montreal.
Five Ounces of Pain reports that shortly after Rua's third-round TKO win over Coleman, the UFC decided that Liddell-Rua would take place on the April 18 UFC 97 card. UFC President Dana White has previously confirmed that Anderson Silva will be defending his middleweight title against Thales Leites on that card, so Liddell-Rua would serve as a strong co-main event.
Other fights that have been discussed for UFC 97 include Roger Huerta vs. Sean Sherk, David Loiseau vs. Ed Herman, and Tamdan McCrory vs. Jonathan Goulet. That makes UFC 97 a very strong card, one that should pack the Bell Centre in Montreal even without the locals' favorite fighter, Georges St. Pierre.
As for Liddell-Rua, the big question, of course, is whether either of these two former stars still has anything left. Just a couple of years ago, many MMA fans would have listed Liddell and Rua as the two best light heavyweights in the world. But both have battled injuries and appeared lackluster, and whlie Liddell vs. Rua is sure to get the winner back on track, it's equally sure to have fans doubting that the loser will ever be the same again.