Couture vs. Nogueira

The main event of UFC 102 is a battle of two heavyweight legends as Randy Couture faces Antonio Minotauro Nogueira.

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Couture enters the fight as the favorite with a betting line of -200 with Nogueira given a line of +160 according to online sports book Here is a closer look at both fighters heading into this main event bout, which will take place from the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Ore. at 10PM ET on pay-per-view.

Randy Couture (16-9 MMA Record):

Strengths: Couture is still a modern mystery. At 46-years-old, Couture still looks to be in as good as shape as he as ever been and still seems to be improving as a fighter. Couture doesn’t stand out in any one area, but is very talented in every area. His standup has greatly improved due to his work with boxing coach Ron Frazier and his submission skills have evolved to compliment his wrestling background. Couture is also one of the smartest fighters in MMA. He never comes into a fight without a smart game plan that can win him the fight.

Weaknesses: The only glaring weakness that Couture has had in his recent history is the fact he has been knocked out three times in his last six fights. Chuck Liddell knocked him out on two occasions and Brock Lesnar put him out in his last fight. Fortunately for Couture, Nogueira is not considered a knockout artist.

Last Five Fights:

Second round TKO loss to Brock Lesnar at UFC 91 on Nov. 15, 2008

Third round TKO win over Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 74 on Aug. 25, 2007

Unanimous decision win over Tim Sylvia at UFC 68 on March 3, 2007

Second round KO loss to Chuck Liddell at UFC 57 on Feb. 4, 2006

Third round submission win over Mike Van Arsdale at UFC 54 on Aug. 20, 2005


Antonio Minotauro Nogueira (31-5-1 MMA Record):

Strengths: Nogueira is one of the world’s best jiu jitsu fighters. Nogueira practically invented his own brand of jiu jitsu, which he passes on to many other today. Nogueria is also known for his ability to take a tremendous amount of punishment without quitting. Nogueira has won many fights in his career by seemingly pulling victory out of the jaws of defeat.

Weaknesses: Nogueira hasn’t evolved much in terms of his boxing as of late. In his most recent fight, Nogueira was picked apart by Frank Mir, who isn’t known for having great stand up in his own right. Nogueira seems to only be able to win his fights on the ground, making him somewhat one dimensional. Nogueira is also starting to show the wear and tear of a lengthy fighting career. Though only 33-years-old, Nogueira looks older than his 46-year-old opponent.

Last Five Fights:

Second round TKO loss to Frank Mir at UFC 92 on Dec. 27, 2008

Third round submission win over Tim Sylvia at UFC 81 on Feb. 2, 2008

Unanimous decision win over Heath Herring at UFC 73 on July 7, 2007

Unanimous decision win over Josh Barnett at Pride: Shockwave 2006 on Dec. 31, 2006

Split decision loss to Josh Barnett at Pride: Final Conflict Absolute on Sept. 10, 2006


Who will win: In this fight, I see Couture being able to dictate where the fight takes place. Nogueira isn’t going to be able to get a wrestler like Couture to the ground and that is the only place I see Nogueira being able to win this fight. I think Couture will outscore Nogueira on the feet and mix in some takedowns while avoiding submissions to earn the decision victory.

Additional Line: Over/Under 11.5 minutes for fight length. Over and Under lines both at -120.

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Posted: 8/25/09 10:48AM ET

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