After two consecutive knockouts over Thiago Silva and Rashad Evans, Dana White can finally start referring to Lyoto Machida as fighter who "loves to stand up and bang." Which is a good thing, because it might be hard to sell UFC 104‘s main event otherwise: Two Brazilians, one of them an elusive karate practitioner, the other a former PRIDE champ on the decline who got his title shot out of convenience and who will probably lose this fight. In the above preview, Joe Rogan makes sure to remind us of Shogun’s glory days, and Dana White reminds us that Rua most recently knocked out Chuck Liddell ["Chuck Liddell, Chuck Liddell"]. Still, Lyoto is impossible to hit and incredibly efficient with his attacks. Can Rua be a legitimate threat to his title, or will he be dominated and demoralized like everyone else the Dragon has faced in the Octagon? Also, Cain Velasquez gets props for the way he rebounded from abuse in his last fight against Cheick Kongo, but Ben Rothwell guarantees that Mr. Brown Pride has never been hit as hard as he’s gonna hit him. I mean, just look at those clips of Rothwell beating the crap out of Andrei Arlovski. (Rothwell won that fight, right?)
Above: DREAM 11 goes down Tuesday, and in addition to the Featherweight Grand Prix and Super Hulk Tournament fights, Joachim Hansen will make his first DREAM lightweight title defense since winning the strap last July. He’ll be facing Shinya Aoki for the third time in his career — Aoki won their first meeting by gogoplata at Pride Shockwave 2006, but Hansen evened the score by TKO in the DREAM Lightweight GP finals. It’s time for the rubber match, and if I’m interpreting the promo video correctly, Hansen gets to use a sword.
Below: MMA legend Kazushi Sakuraba, who most recently dropped a decision to Kiyoshi Tamura last New Year’s Eve, has been tapped as a late addition to the DREAM 11 lineup. This video is apparently promoting that fact; translations appreciated. According to Japan-MMA, Sakuraba will be taking on Rubin Williams, a pro boxer from Detroit who’s on a six-fight losing streak. What, Rodney King wasn’t available?