View Full Version : Nog & Couture's next fights

08-30-2009, 02:27 PM

In the span of fifteen minutes, two of the UFC’s most distinguished heavyweights decisively answered one of the sport’s longstanding debates.

What lies next for Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Randy Couture in the Octagon remains a question mark for now though.

UFC President Dana White hinted this week that a command performance from either legend could propel them into a title bout. However, White did not commit during the UFC 102 post-fight press conference to naming Nogueira -- victorious over Couture Saturday in one of his sharper performances in recent memory –- the next challenger for the heavyweight crown.

“I don’t know. You guys always want me to match-make right after the fight,” said White. “I don’t think either guy got hurt in the fight, meaning credibility or where they’re at age-wise if you want to look at that anyway. It was great fight, what everybody expected. It keeps the heavyweight division interesting, and maybe the light heavyweight division, depending on what (Couture) wants to do.”

White might be waiting to see who comes out on top on Nov. 21, when champion Brock Lesnar makes his first title defense against Shane Carwin at UFC 106 in Las Vegas.

For now, the night belonged to Nogueira, who gave the 46-year-old Couture much to contemplate standing and on the ground Saturday.

Nogueira, 33, sent the former heavyweight and light heavyweight champion to the canvas in the first and third rounds, sealing himself a unanimous decision over the man known for his carefully crafted strategies and underdog victories.

“I thought (Couture) was done ten times,” said White. “I thought he was done in the beginning when he got knocked down and was getting hit. There’s so many times I thought Randy was done and he wasn’t.”

Couture, who said he never felt close to finished in the bout, had no qualms with the scoring, which gave the Brazilian every round on all three judges’ cards.

“I’m pretty rational about the performance,” said Couture, who signed a new six-fight deal with the promotion Saturday. “I clearly thought he’d won all three rounds. He knocked me on my keester in at least two of the rounds and had mount a couple of times. He definitely won the fight.”

(http://www.sherdog.com/pictures/gallery/fighter/f_1440/93455/33)Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Who's next for Nogueira?

Nogueira, who’s finished 20 of his 39 career bouts by submission, said he aimed to become the first to tap out Couture in the Octagon. He almost accomplished it Saturday.

In the second round, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt trapped Couture’s left appendage and attempted to squeeze out an arm-triangle choke. After a few tense seconds, Couture countered and escaped.

“I tried my best, but Randy has good technique in (his) escape,” said Nogueira. “I felt like I had Vaseline on my glove from the (earlier) punch, and he did a very good escape. He walked back to get off.”

But it may have been Nogueira’s boxing, which he perfected with the Cuban national squad for a time, that made the difference.

“He’s got a great jab. He followed it with some pretty good right hands tonight,” said Couture. “Obviously, I thought I could do better on my feet than I did with him and he hit me with some good shots.”

Couture said he’d have to evaluate a tape of the bout to see where he misstepped, but was pleased with the performance because he felt he’d “given it my all.”

“We hit every position that we trained to hit,” said Couture. “We expected that there’s a good chance I’d end up on bottom, there’s a good chance I’d end up on top, we’re gonna end up in the clinch, we’re gonna trade –- we did everything in this fight. I think I did a lot of things well and I got caught a few times and I think that’s a nod to Nogueira. He had a great night.”

Nogueira had a polar-opposite performance against Frank Mir at UFC 92 last December, a bout that saw Mir knock down his sluggish opponent before finishing Nogueira in the second round for the first time in the Brazilian’s lengthy career.

“I had a staph infection,” said Nogueira of the ill-fated fight. “I was in the hospital for seven days just like twenty days before the fight. I came out from (the) hospital and I tore the meniscus in my left knee. I wasn’t prepared, but I didn’t escape for the fight. We made the show.”

Many questioned if the battle-worn Brazilian, who’d seen plenty of dog fights during his tenure with Pride Fighting Championships in Japan, still had the capacity to compete at top-level. However, Couture said he knew the lacking performance would only serve to motivate the Brazilian.

“He wanted to make a statement, that what happened in the Mir fight was an anomaly and wasn’t all the other things that people were questioning, so I knew it was going to be a tough fight,” said Couture.

With Couture’s second loss in a row, a rematch with Lesnar will have to wait, even though White said Lesnar requested the bout Saturday if Couture had been victorious. Lesnar could seen hovering near the cage’s lip throughout the bout, shouting out directions to Couture.

“I think there’s a lot of logical opponents (for Couture),” said White. “There’s a lot of young blood in that division, including the heavyweight champion. I think there’s a lot of fun things we could do in the heavyweight division.”

White also said Couture was welcome to drop back down to the light heavyweight division, where the four-time Olympic wrestling alternate earned three titles.

Nogueira, now 3-1 in the UFC, will also have time to plot his next move and relish in one of the bigger victories on his docket.

“For sure, that fight was one of the most important fight(s) of my life,” said Nogueira. “It wasn’t a title shot, but it was a fight against one of my heroes, a legend in the sport.”

08-30-2009, 02:29 PM
Couture will be fighting six more fights. He must be broke.

08-30-2009, 02:32 PM

Randy Couture said he will finish his professional career where it began in 1997 -- inside the Octagon.

Couture, 46, announced Saturday that he’d renewed his contract with the UFC for six more fights over 28 months. The deal was done hours before the perennial fan favorite battled Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira to a unanimous decision loss at UFC 102 in Portland, Ore. The bout was Couture’s 20th for the promotion.

“The opportunity to stay with the organization is the motivation,” said Couture during the UFC 102 postfight news conference. “Things being what they are, this is the place to be and I intend to finish my career here. It’s pretty simple.”

Couture, a four-time Olympic wrestling alternate, burst onto the scene at UFC 13 in May 1997, where he won three fights in one night to become the heavyweight tournament champion.

Over the next 12 years, Couture continued to surprise fans by toppling younger opponents with airtight strategies and pinpoint execution. Key victories have included Maurice Smith, Kevin Randleman, Tito Ortiz, Chuck Liddell, Vitor Belfort (twice) and Tim Sylvia, which earned the quiet wrestler the heavyweight title three times, the light heavyweight belt two times, and an interim light heavyweight title as well.

Couture was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2006.

In October 2007, Couture resigned from the UFC over a contract dispute and campaigned heavily for a fight with the world’s top-ranked heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko. Couture returned to the UFC 11 months later to defend his title against Brock Lesnar at UFC 91 last November. Lesnar stopped Couture in the second round to take the crown.

The contract renewal will ensure that anyone wishing to face Couture, including Emelianenko, will have to do so in the UFC. However, Emelianenko has turned down at least two UFC contract offers and recently signed a three-fight deal with rival promotion Strikeforce.

UFC President Dana White said Couture would still be considered for both divisions depending on his preference.

“I’d love to see him at light heavyweight, but he proved he can hang with heavyweights,” said White. “He’s had probably the best fight against Brock Lesnar, other than Heath Herring, since Lesnar’s been in here. I think he’s a monster at light heavyweight. It’s up to him, to be honest with you. Whatever he wants to do, I’m in.”

Couture said he would review his performance Saturday before committing to his next move.

“I’m interested in interesting fights. There are a lot of guys in both divisions that are interesting to fight,” said Couture. “I’m going to take it one fight at a time, as I did 12 years ago when I started this thing, and we’ll see where that goes.”

08-30-2009, 03:02 PM
six damn fight!? barely six fighters in the heavyweight division.

maybe couture against frank mir.

nog is gonna get lesnar soon enough.

08-30-2009, 06:03 PM
Couture said at one time he would drop down to light heavyweight to fight Machida, I wonder if he would do it to fight Silva.

Mirko Cro Cop
08-30-2009, 06:05 PM
Couture said at one time he would drop down to light heavyweight to fight Machida, I wonder if he would do it to fight Silva.

Couture doesn't deserve to fight either of them.

08-30-2009, 06:44 PM
Couture doesn't deserve to fight either of them.

I dont think Couture is that bad, Im not saying he would win either of those fights but I think he could easily have a better fight against Silva then Griffin just did

Mirko Cro Cop
08-30-2009, 06:47 PM
I dont think Couture is that bad, Im not saying he would win either of those fights but I think he could easily have a better fight against Silva then Griffin just did

He's just lost his last two fights, there is no way in hell he deserves to fight two of the best P4P fighters in the world.

Then again I could see Dana just doing it for PPV sales.

08-30-2009, 08:15 PM
He's just lost his last two fights, there is no way in hell he deserves to fight two of the best P4P fighters in the world.

Then again I could see Dana just doing it for PPV sales.

No, in that sense he doesnt deserve the fight, and he lost to 2 pretty good fighters imo, but a lose is still a lose. But its UFC and none of that matters, your right Dana White will put anyone against anyone if the sales are there.

08-30-2009, 09:58 PM
I wish he'd just fuckin retire, damn. He is by far my favorite fighter and I'll root for the guy no matter what, but shit man, you're 46 years old, you're a 5 time champion, and only one of two guys to have held a title in 2 different divisions! You have nothin left to prove.

08-30-2009, 11:27 PM
Randy is to old. He's slowing down and he's getting rocked a lot easier than he used to... He needs to retire

08-31-2009, 12:39 AM
Couture should go town to lightheavy & fight the loser of tito ortiz vs mark coleman both are good matchups for him. Nogueira should fight CroCop if he wins at UFC103

08-31-2009, 02:52 PM
Randy is my fucking hero.. he won my respect all over again from the war with Nog.. a lesser fighter would have been finished by the strikes and submissions, but Randy has so much heart!

Yes, he was outpointed and beaten convincingly, but anybody who knows anyting about MMA would tell you what Randy did that night was amazing.. the mount escapes, the hockey-style punch out..