UFC 134 fight card: Luiz Cane seeks the spotlight once again at expense of debuting Stanislav Nedkov

Luiz Cane isn't just coming home tonight (Aug. 27, 2011) to square off against Stanislav Nedkov at UFC 134 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; he's coming to regain the status he once had.

He's coming to take back his contender status.

Or at least, he wants to keep rolling along down that track. Surely a win over Eliot Marshall a few months ago and Nedkov tonight won't put him on the brink of a title shot but it will go a long way in restoring the reputation he once had.

His punches and his kicks, his slicker than slick jiu-jitsu, his tenacity in the cage. All attributes that served to earn him such considerable hype while he was making his way up the ranks in the UFC.

And while his run was brought to an abrupt halt when he got a big bump in competition, we all love a good comeback story, right?

Nedkov is in an interesting position here. He was signed one year ago and through a combination of bad luck and poor timing, he's been on the shelf the whole time.

And with just 11 career fights, all across the pond, his name is one that doesn't ring any bells in even some of the most devoted of mixed martial arts circles.

This has its advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, a lack of familiarity means a near complete lack of expectation, which takes a rather large load off Nedkov's shoulders. The flip side of that is a loss means he fades even further into obscurity.

And with Brazilian fans showing at the weigh-ins yesterday that they're not shy about expressing their contempt for foreigners fighting their native sons, "Staki" is in one hell of a predicament.

Cane's been there and done that and wants to get back to his former status as a budding contender. Nedkov has yet to taste true greatness in the sport and if he wants to even sniff as much, defeating "Banha" is a necessity.

You might not know them yet ... but you likely will after tonight.

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