This past Saturday at UFC: AARP, I mean UFC 109: Relentless, we saw for the first time in history a fight involving two UFC Hall of Famers. Randy “The Natural” Couture (46) and Mark “The Hammer” Coleman (44) squared off in a match-up that was supposed to happen 10 years ago but didn’t because Couture injured himself during training for the fight. The other main event for this card was a Middleweight showdown between Nate “The Great” Marquardt and Chael Sonnen. The winner of this fight would be declared the number one contender for the title and would face the winner of the Anderson Silva/Vitor Belfort fight that will take place at UFC 112.
Beltran defeated Gracie via TKO (punches) at 1:31 of round 2. This bout aired last on the PPV broadcast following the Couture vs. Coleman fight.
Tuchscherer defeated Hague via majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28).
Davis defeated Stann via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27). This bout aired on the PPV broadcast following the Maia vs. Miller fight.
Emerson defeated Nover via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Preliminary card (Spike TV)
Guillard defeated Torres via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Danzig defeated Buchholz via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Serra defeated Trigg via KO (punches) at 2:23 of round 1.
Maia defeated Miller via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).
Thiago defeated Swick via submission (d'arce choke) at 1:54 of round 2.
Sonnen defeated Marquardt via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Couture defeated Coleman via submission (rear naked choke) at 1:09 of round 2.
Greatest Surprise of the Night: Demian Maia/Paulo Thiago
I have to give greatest surprise of the night to both Paulo Thiago and Demian Maia. Paulo Thaigo was dominant in his fight against Mike Swick. I thought going into the fight that Swick was going to control the contest standing up and eventually pound Thiago out in the second or third round. Boy was I wrong, it was Thiago who really controlled the contest standing up in the first round, hitting Swick with a couple of shots early and making Swick back off. During the second round, Thiago got Swick on his back and finished the fight with probably one of the nastiest d’arce chokes I’ve ever seen. Usually you can tell when a person is going to get choked out, their legs move a lot, then a little, then nothing. With Swick in the d’arce choke of Thiago, he went from moving a lot, to nothing; it was like his body got struck by a quick bolt of lightening and all the lights in his body went out. Message to AKA (American Kickboxing Academy), don’t put up anybody from your crew against Paulo Thiago, he’s 2-1 against your group. Demian Maia’s performance wasn’t as impressive as Thiago’s, but it surprised me the same. Maia in his last fight was on the receiving end of a highlight reel knockout by Nate Marquardt. During the contest, Maia’s standup was about as effective as a guy with no arms trying to squeeze one off. Maia is an all world Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner, but in the world of mixed martial arts, you got to be well rounded to be one of the best. Maia’s fight with Dan Miller at UFC 109 was a complete 180 from his fight with Marquardt; he used angles, short but effective combinations, and really controlled the ring against Dan Miller. The fight only went to the ground a couple of times with nothing happening. Maia looked very comfortable standing up, he could be a dark horse in this division with his improving standup and outright dominance on the ground.
Greatest Performance of the Night: Chael Sonnen
I was going to put Chael Sonnen in the first category, but since he complete outclassed Nate Marquardt, he gets performance of the night. I’m pretty sure we can give Chael Sonnen the nickname of “Plus 150”, because he’s been a substantial underdog in his past three fights, and turned in three dominating performances. He outwrestled and beat up a previously undefeated Dan Miller; he outclassed a previously unstoppable Yushin Okami, and threw around Nate Marquardt like a fat girl throws around a skinny guy during a roll around in the sack. From the opening bell, Sonnen was the aggressor, taking the fight directly to Marquardt. He took Marquardt to the ground in all three rounds and beat him up pretty well. He didn’t come out of the fight unscathed however; in the second round Marquardt hit Sonnen with an elbow from the bottom that had Sonnen bleeding like stuck pig. The octagon looked “After” photo of a Saw scene at the end of the second round. In addition, Sonnen got caught in a triangle choke with about 30 seconds to go in the third round that almost made him go to sleep, but eventually got out and took a unanimous decision. Sonnen now gets the winner of Vitor Belfort/Anderson Silva, and either way, Sonnen will be where he wants to, as he’ll definitely be an underdog no matter whom he faces.
Greatest Disappointment of the Night: Mark Coleman
Going into his fight with Randy Couture, Mark Coleman and his camp talked at length about how good his conditioning was going to be and how he was going to come out and take the fight to Randy. How would I describe his performance? In one word; THUD! Thud is the sound that over-hyped words make as they fall hard and loudly to the floor. As soon as the fight started and both guys came out of their corners, I said pretty loudly “Coleman’s done!!” My Dad turned to me and said, “They’ve barely started? How is he done?” Then Coleman got punched in the face three times about thirty seconds later, and my Dad said “Maybe you’re right.” Coleman came out of the corner at the beginning of the fight like a dog comes out of the kitchen after he peed on the floor and knows he’s going to get his ass beat; very cautiously and trying not to do too much to get himself noticed. That played right into the hands of Couture, who loves to control the fight up against the fence and use the Greco-Roman Wrestling/Dirty Boxing technique he’s made famous for years. Then when Coleman would break Couture’s hold on him, Randy just sat back and beat a hole in Coleman’s face. Coleman’s night ended with Randy taking him down, getting his back, and making Coleman go nighty-night with a rear naked choke to end the fight in the second round. I know Coleman is a hall of famer and he’s had some big wins in his career, but in the last two big fights he’s had (this one, and his fight against Shogun Rua) he’s looked the same; 10 seconds slow with whatever he does.
Beyond Words: Randy Couture
Usually what happens to an athlete, as he or she gets older is that they lose a step, maybe even two, and eventually have to retire because of it. Randy Couture has basically given the finger to that type of thinking, and instead he’s gotten better with age. Couture gets better and better every time he fights. I’m calling it right now, he’ll still be fighting when he hits half a century. Randy Couture is everything that everybody says he is… ten fold. I’m glad that during the pre-fight speculation they shot Joe Rogan from the stomach up, because if they shot from the knees up, I’m pretty sure we would have seen a bulge in his pants due to how much he loved talking about “The Natural”. But everything he said was right on the money. It’s crazy to think, but at 46 years old, Randy Couture is in the UFC Light Heavyweight Title picture. Expect to see Randy in the mix with all that unfolds from the Rampage/Evans and Shogun/Machida fights. My take is that if the Rampage/Evans fight is a dud and neither man establishes himself, put Randy in a title fight with the winner of Shogun/Machida 2. Both of those fights would be an epic and a dynamite draw for the UFC.
Dark Cloud on the Night: Mark Coleman/Tito Ortiz altercation.
Tito Ortiz is future UFC Hall of Famer, a talented fighter, and a smart business. I would like him if he wasn’t a gi-normus tool shed. During Mark Coleman’s post-fight interview, where Coleman was practically speechless because he was dominated so badly, Tito walked by and barked a little towards Coleman. Coleman then spent the next five minutes calling Tito a “f-ing deushbag” and saying “any time Tito wants to fight, it’s on.” Obviously this sets Tito up with another fight after he fights Chuck Liddell in Canada, so it’s a good business move by Tito. But it’s just how he does it that pisses me off. It was a great moment, two UFC Hall of Famers just fought and they both gave each other the highest amount of respect in the post fight interview. Just leave it at that. It’s just too bad Tito Ortiz is a spotlight prostitute.