15 Things I Noticed During UFC 102: Nogueira Vs. Couture
A rowdy, and educated (if light in number) crowd at the Rose Garden got to see another chapter in "Better Late Than Never You Little F@$$*ts, The Trials and Tribulations of Dana White."
And while not fight of the year, it was a surprisingly fun night of fights capped by an extremely competitive main event.
1. Saturday, Bloody Saturday.
In my preview article I highlighted some fights that could end UFC careers while a lot of them where avoided, I can see a pink slip heading out to Marcus Aurelio, Nick Catone, Chris Leben, and the Nsane 1, with Keith Jardine in serious jepordy.
2. Tim Hague's superman impression.
Tim. Buddy. Pal. A superman punch isn't when you dive at your opponents with your arms down, and eat a straight left, yeah... Can't strike, nor has any grappling credentials, I'm telling ya, next signing Ruben Vilareal.
3. Todd Duffee sets record, sort of.
An honor worthy of acknowledgement, Todd Duffee's seven second throttling of Tim Hague officially goes down as the fastest knockout in UFC history...
Duane Ludwig however ended his controversial bout with Johnathan Goullet at UFN 3 in just four seconds. However do to poor time keeping and unfortunate refereeing its in the books at 12 seconds
With correction duty out of the way Todd Duffee makes an impressive statement versus a bottom tier UFC heavyweight, signaling good things for the 24 year old's future prospects in the cage.
4. Bad News TUF fans....
If Chris Tuchscherer is "way to good" for TUF 10, then prepare for the worst season of TUF since 9, or 8, or 7, or 6, or 5. I hope I'm being clear here.
5. Gonzaga the gatekeeper
Gabriel Gonzaga is a heavyweight who isn't overly terrible, and is the perfect fighter to flesh out the multitude of Heavyweight prospects the UFC now finds itself with: Duffee, Stuve, Dos Santos, Velasquez, etc.
He has holes, but only a top 5-10 UFC HW is going to find them.
6. There's tough, then there's stupid...
Eddy, nobody questions your toughness, but that right there is why you don't answer the bell with a blown out knee, you tend to hurt those things worse and 2-3 month become 6-18 month injuries, theres no shame in having to tap due to injury.
7. The Truth Hurts... Eventually, over time, possibly.
While Brandon Vera is a good technical fighter, your not going to get out of purgatory in the UFC's 205lb division if you can't finish guys. You've got to close the deal.
In the UFC all people care about are stoppages, or wars, that was a snooze fest, and I don't care how many people you beat in a row you've got to go in for the kill at some point, especially considering how you had your way with him the whole fight.
Even Lyoto Machida has Rashad Evans and Thiago Silva in the piggy bank.
8. Silva vs. Vera, who's with me?
Brandon Vera disposed of The Polish Experiment, and Silva, might have bounced the Dean of Mean onto the unemployment line. Who wouldn't want to see a real LHW title eliminator, Vera hasn't really been pushed in any of his fights lately, and Silva has proved that he's no threat to Machida, it'd be a good fight i'd feel.
Damn you Damien Maia. Why did you have to go and expose that soft chin of yours now. Now you've left us with two rematches I couldn't care any less about. Listen I love Dan Henderson and Nate Marquardt, but neither are any threat to Anderson Silva.
I'm hoping to see Anderson Silva stay at LHW or fight Yushin Okami, everything else is a yawn as far as I'm concerned.
10. "Spritz" on that Leben.
In a night full of put up or shut up bouts, Chris Leben sure did enough to shove himself out the door, first he got out struck by a poor striker, then he got bossed on the ground for the majority of the fight, before getting choked out cold.
And that sound you heard wasn't Leben legs smacking the canvas it was the Team Takedown bandwagon filling up again.
11. Thiago Slays
In the battle of who had the weakest chin, Keith Jardine came up on the short end of the stick getting laid out in Wanderlei Silva fashion.
Where Jardine goes from here is a good question, I see an UFN in his future.
12. You Stay Classy Portland!
Never have I heard a crowd cheer when someone stuffs an arm triangle attempt, hell they caught it before I did for heavens stakes.
For as difficult as it was to fill the building, they defenitally did enough during the telecast to deserve a second shot when the economy turns around.
13. Hey them old guys still got it.
I'll be honest, I feared snooze fest for most of the week in run up to the event, color me a shady of pleasantly surprised. Those two old guys went to war, and the better fighter won. No shady decisions, just good clean fighting everywhere and anywhere in that fight.
14. Thoughts of his demise are greatly exaggerated.
Lets face it Nog has been through a great number of wars, but at 33, he proved last night that if he's fighting at 240, not 255, and he's not sick he's a vastly different fighter.
Sorry Frank Mir, I need that binky back.
Last One. What's next for Randy Couture?
With this loss Randy Couture falls to a career 16-10 lifetime, and is nowhere near the title picture in the division, after signing a six fight extension look for him to blood in some prospects for the final 2-3 fights of his UFC run, Couture vs. Jon Jones in a move down. Couture vs. dos Santos or Velasquez at HW all possible.
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