Maurice Smith, coach of the Seattle Tiger Sharks of the International Fight League, is scheduled to make his return to mixed martial arts action this Saturday night against fellow UFC veteran Marco Ruas.
It has been 6-1/2 years since Smith last competed in MMA. Following a stellar career in kickboxing, Smith defeated Mark Coleman for the UFC Heavyweight Championship in 1997. He defended the belt once with a win over Tank Abbott before losing the title to current UFC champion Randy Couture.
Ruas and Smith actually faced each other once before, in 1999 in the UFC. Smith won that bout when Ruas’ corner threw in the towel about 5 minutes into the bout. They highlight the IFL’s show in Chicago on Saturday night.
Most fans will most recently remember Sean Salmon for his jumping kick in his UFC debut against Rashad Evans at UFC Fight Night 8. With a 9-2 professional record, Salmon returns to the Octagon on May 26 as part of the Chuck Liddell vs. Quinton Jackson undercard. He faces Alan Belcher (9-3), who is making his UFC return following a loss to Kendall Grove at UFC 69 in Houston, Tex.
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