by MMAWeekly.com Staff
The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Monday officially announced the return of the promotion to California. UFC 104, featuring a main event pitting light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida against challenger Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, will take place on Oct. 24 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Cain Velasquez and the newly acquired Ben Rothwell will also square off in a heavyweight battle at UFC 104.
“It’s been two years since the UFC was in Southern California and we knew we had to bring something special for our return to the capital of mixed martial arts,” said UFC president Dana White.
“Lyoto Machida captured the imagination of fight fans with his knockout of Rashad Evans, and while he seems unbeatable right now, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua not only has the tools to beat any 205-pounder in the world, but he’s coming off a knockout of Chuck Liddell in his last fight, so his confidence is sky-high. This has the potential to be one of the greatest light heavyweight title fights ever.”
Coming off of the win over Evans, the 31-year-old Machida currently has a spotless professional record of 15-0.
“I’m honored to be making my first title defense in Los Angeles,” Machida said. “The fact that I get to fight someone as respected as Shogun is an honor as well. My last fight before I won the title was against Thiago Silva, so I know how tough my fellow Brazilians are. I’m training extremely hard for this match-up and I’m looking forward to a great fight.”
Following a loss to Forrest Griffin in his Octagon debut at UFC 76, Shogun has since put together back-to-back wins over UFC Hall of Famer Mark Coleman and the aforementioned Liddell.
“I feel very happy about fighting for the UFC belt,” Rua said. “It’s a huge opportunity in my career and in my life, and having this chance gets me closer to reaching my career’s ultimate goal and my life’s biggest dream. I think fighting Lyoto is a great thing because he is the man to beat right now. He’s wearing the belt and he has a very well-rounded game.”