UFC 129 Fight Card: 5 Things to Watch for in the Couture-Machida Fight

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UFC 129 Fight Card: 5 Things to Watch for in the Couture-Machida Fight

When the UFC first announced Randy Couture vs. Lyoto Machida for UFC 129 at the Rogers Centre, fan reaction was tepid. With neither man sitting in the division’s top five and both seemingly far from a title shot (though I have argued differently), this fight was seen as a fun fight, an interesting clash of styles, but little more.

Well, you can kiss those days goodbye.

When Randy Couture announced that this fight would be “The Natural’s” last, all the rules changed. This isn’t just another clash of LHW contenders and former champions fighting to get back in title contention. This is Randy Couture’s retirement match!

And it may also prove to be the toughest challenge in “Captain America’s” career.

True, Lyoto Machida’s stock has fallen quite a bit since the halcyon days of the “Machida Era” way back in that ancient time known as 2009. Back-to-back losses—one controversial, the other devastating—have dulled the luster of the man once viewed as the future of 205 lbs.

Now, Machida is fighting not just to stay relevant, but to stay employed. Dana White has hinted darkly at what might happen should “The Dragon” drop three straight.

It’s ironic that Machida is fighting to keep his career against a man about to end his. For Randy, the stakes in this fight are almost nil—but there is still something in it for “The Natural.” Randy has been insistent on going out on his own terms. I’m sure those terms don’t include ending his career in a KO the way he “ended” it in 2006 following the Liddell loss.

For Randy, it’s all about going out on a high note and leaving fans with an indelible impression they’ll never forget.

For Lyoto, time to take a page from the Vince Lombardi school of wisdom, because on April 30th, winning is certainly the only thing.

This fight is as intriguing a style clash as any LHW match you could make right now, with both guys bringing diverse and different weapons to a very old school, “style vs. style” fight. Here are the five biggest things to watch for when Randy Couture and Lyoto Machida throw down on the 30th.

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