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Chuck Liddell vs. Mauricio Rua to headline UFC 97 in Montreal

The UFC has decided that a light heavyweight matchup between former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell and former PRIDE standout Mauricio “Shogun” Rua will headline the promotion’s UFC 97 event tentatively scheduled for April 18 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. learned of the news on Saturday night from a source close to the bout. UFC President Dana White officially announced the bout during a UFC 93 post-fight press conference.

The final decision was made to book the fight following Rua’s third round TKO victory over Mark Coleman during Saturday’s UFC 93 event in Dublin, Ireland. The victory improved Rua’s overall record to 17-3 and his record while competing for the UFC to 1-1.

The fight vs. Coleman was Rua’s first since a third round submission loss to Forrest Griffin during UFC 76 on September 22, 2007. The former Chute Boxe Academy member was sidelined for nearly a year and a half due to a recurring knee injury that required surgery.

Liddell has lost three of his last four fights and has not competed since being knocked out by Rashad Evans at UFC 88 this past September.

In addition to Liddell vs. Rua, other bouts anticipated for UFC 97 include UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva defending his title vs. Thales Leites, David Loiseau vs. Ed Herman, and Tamdan McCrory vs. Jonathan Goulet.