Back at UFC 93 in January 2009, after Mauricio "Shogun" Rua's less-than-impressive win over golden oldie Mark Coleman, UFC president Dana White used the term "ring rust" to describe Rua's performance.
Rua was coming off knee surgery and hadn't fought in the octagon for 16 months. With each successive fight, Rua knocked off the rust. The knockout of Chuck Liddell last April at UFC 97. The controversial loss to Lyoto Machida last time around at UFC 104 last October.
And, now, the comeback is complete. Rua knocked out Machida, the last remaining undefeated champion in MMA, in the first round at UFC 113 in Montreal.
Machida had a pair of takedowns in the first round that seemed to slow the advancing Rua. Shogun got back to his feet with 2:10 left and kept the fight standing. With 1:37 left, Machida missed with a left hand and stumbled a bit as Rua countered with a right. Rua (19-4) pounced and punched on the grounded Machida and unloaded a series of shots before referee Yves Lavigne stepped in to stop the bout.
The left eye of Machida (16-1) was swollen shut after Rua's flurry.
Back when Machida beat Rashad Evans for the title at UFC 98, he was considered the most unsolvable mixed martial artist in the sport. Rua figured out how to successfully fight him at UFC 104, despite losing a five-round decision most everyone thought he won.
Rua left no doubt this time. He took advantage of his opening and won the title many thought he won eight months ago.
PHOTOS: UFC 113