After losing to Josh Koscheck in May, Paul Daley followed his opponent back to the corner and sucker-punched him well after the final bell.
It was one of the most unsportsmanlike acts ever seen in the Ultimate Fighting Championship and got Daley banned from the organization.
Still, it was Koscheck who left the cage in Montreal that night as the villain.
He will return tonight to face hometown hero Georges St. Pierre for the welterweight title in the main event of UFC 124, and the fighters' roles will be clearly defined from the moment they enter the Bell Centre.
"That's why people are going to tune in (tonight) -- because they want to see Georges St. Pierre kick my ass because I'm the so-called (bad guy)," the 33-year-old Koscheck said on a conference call.
Any fan sympathy for the UFC's resident heel after the victory over Daley -- which made Koscheck the No. 1 contender for St. Pierre's title -- turned right back into animosity when Koscheck took the microphone and called out two of Montreal's most beloved sports institutions.
"Don't worry, (the) Pittsburgh Penguins are going to kick your ass next week," Koscheck, who grew up outside Pittsburgh, said before an NHL playoff series between the Penguins and the Montreal Canadiens. "Then, I'm going to beat St. Pierre, so you guys are going to lose twice. How about that? Yeah, that's right, Montreal."
The personality gap between Koscheck and the universally liked St. Pierre widened during the season they spent as opposing coaches on "The Ultimate Fighter" reality show, which was used to further hype tonight's title showdown.
Koscheck continually picked on the soft-spoken French-Canadian, who turned the other cheek time and time again.
Early in his career, Koscheck often lamented being the heel. At some point, it seems he made a conscious decision to market himself that way.
"It's about money for me, man. I do fights to make money just like everybody else. It's a living. This is my job," he said, adding that being a villain has increased his popularity. "It's funny, you have all these people that say I'm the bad guy and I'm this and I'm that, but you see all these people come up to me every time I'm out in public that want my autograph and want my picture."
Koscheck knows that no amount of hype or talk will help him do what he couldn't do three years ago -- beat St. Pierre. St. Pierre controlled much of their 2007 fight by outwrestling Koscheck, who was an elite college wrestler.
Koscheck thinks the way to beat the 29-year-old St. Pierre is by testing his chin, and he said he will do that tonight.
"Three years ago, I learned a valuable lesson: You don't get second chances in life very often," he said. "This is the second chance I get to get a crack at Georges St. Pierre, and I've prepared very well for this, and I believe I'm going to be the champion (tonight)."
Koscheck isn't the only fighter on the card trying to hype his bout through trash talk. Little-known Sean McCorkle launched a smear campaign against his opponent, Stefan Struve, on Twitter.
The strategy appears to have worked as the fight has been promoted into a spot on the card immediately before the main event.
Also on the card, Thiago Alves will try to get his once-promising career back on track against John Howard. Alves has lost two fights in a row and missed weight in two of his past four fights. Alves also missed more than a year of action in that span because of a knee injury and brain surgery to correct a malformation found during a routine prefight CT scan.
Alves has been working with mixed martial arts fighter and nutritionist Mike Dolce and said his issues with cutting weight are fixed for good.
A pair of lightweight bouts round out the main card, which will air live on pay per view at 7. Joe Stevenson meets Mac Danzig, and highly touted prospect Charles Oliveira looks to remain unbeaten against Jim Miller.
Contact reporter Adam Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-224-5509.