Grizzled and well traveled mixed martial arts veteran Aaron Riley (27-11-1) could once again tangle with The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 8 contestant Shane Nelson (12-3) at UFC 101 from the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pa., on August 8.
The rematch comes on the heels of a controversial stoppage in their first fight back at UFC 96 on March 7 when the fight was prematurely stopped after Riley was dropped with a Nelson right hand. Referee Rick Fike came under fire for halting the bout too soon, and UFC President Dana White promised a rematch and "A more definitive ending" following the event.
The stoppage didn't get much attention however, after Yves Lavigne let Matt Brown bludgeon Pete Sell into an eight-sided near-death experience later on the card.
Riley first returned to the Octagon against Jorge Gurgel at UFC 91: "Couture vs. Lesnar" in November 2008, scoring a thrilling (and tight) three round unanimous decision.
It earned "Fight of the Night" honors, which is quite a statement considering the "biggest fight in UFC history" between Randy Couture and Brock Lesnar was the featured fight of the night.
Riley has competed in Pride FC, Bodog and the International Fight League (IFL), among others, taking on some of the best in the business. He sports notable losses to Robbie Lawler, Spencer Fisher, Chris Lytle and Eddie Alvarez. And even though he did not come out victorious in those contests, the experience factor alone makes him a dangerous opponent.
His losses to Lawler and Fisher were under the UFC banner, dating back several years. Riley was riding a three-fight win streak coming into UFC 96.
Nelson — who trains under UFC Lightweight Champion BJ Penn — notched his first win inside the Octagon again cast mate George Roop at TUF 8 Finale via split decision last December.
Prior to his stint on the Spike TV-produced reality series, Nelson competed primarily close to home under promotions such as X-1 and Rumble on the Rock. He was knocked out of the eight-man tournament-style TUF show by eventual 155-pound season winner, Efrain Escudero.
UFC 101 will likely feature a main event between lightweight champion BJ Penn against number one contender Kenny Florian, as well as a 205-pound showdown between former light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin and the previously unbeaten Thiago Silva in the co-featured fight of the night.
For more on UFC 101, including rumored bouts and all other event-related news, click here.