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ESPN: “The Hall of Famer just didn’t have it”

By Zach Arnold | August 29, 2009

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On the brief clips shown of the Randy Couture/Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira UFC 102 fight on Sportscenter, the anchor (Kevin Negandhi) sounded incredibly sorrowful when talking about Couture’s fight performance. The highlights shown were the times Nogueira knocked down Couture.

Interestingly enough, “The Lead” portion of ESPN’s bottom ticker said “Couture goes the distance but loses to Nogueira at UFC 102.”

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 10 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

10 Responses to “ESPN: “The Hall of Famer just didn’t have it””

  1. Detective Roadblock says:

    I was there. Small crowd compared to Vegas. But they were into it from the Leben fight on. Nog absolutely handled Couture in my opinion.

    Looking forward to Nog/Lesnar.

    Nog isn’t what he used to be perhaps. But he was close to the 2003-2005 Nog tonight. I don’t think Randy at any point in his career could have beaten Nog tonight. Fedor would absolutely murder Randy.

    Saying Randy didn’t have it tonight misses the point. Randy never had it for this level of fighter.

  2. Ivan Trembow says:

    As I said in the previous thread, The Nogueira-Couture fight was a wildly exciting, hard-fought, gutsy fight. At the same time, it was sad to see just how far both fighters have fallen.

    When Couture got knocked down in previous fights, it was against fighters with a lot of power (Liddell, Lesnar). In this fight, he was repeatedly knocked down and almost out, against a man who has never been known to have strong punching power (Nogueira certainly has strong punching technique, but not strong punching power).

    As for Nogueira, the lengendary chin that was missing in the Mir fight was back in the Couture fight, but that was about it. In his previous couple of fights and also in the Couture fight, Nogueira’s reflexes were gone, his defense was gone, his head movement was gone, and he was moving like he was underwater. In the Couture fight, even his legendary submission-finishing ability was missing against an opponent who was semi-conscious at the time of the Round 1 submission attempt (and someone like Nogueira losing their submission-finishing ability would be the equivalent of a knockout artist losing their power). The drastically diminished reflexes and movement are far more troubling, though.

    So, for me, while it was a very exciting fight to watch, it was also sad to watch.

  3. 45 Huddle says:

    Randy had it for this level of fighter that he matched up stylistically for.

    Lesnar is going to tear a hole in Nogueira’s skull. It’s going to look like Nogueira/Sapp, only Lesnar has better striking and can likely avoid the submission better…. And doesn’t gas.

  4. Dave says:

    That pretty much is it; Randy for high level competition is good against guys he stylistically matches up with or can come up with a good gameplan to foil.

  5. Ivan Trembow says:

    There seemed to be repeated instances of questionable judgment by the doctors of Oregon’s athletic commission tonight.

    The doctors allowed Ed Herman to continue on to Round 2 even though he clearly had a badly injured knee, only for Herman to predictably suffer an even worse knee injury seconds into Round 2.

    That wasn’t the only case of a fighter being sent out for another round who might not have been medically fit to continue. From Bryan Alvarez’ play-by-play of the Mike Russow vs. Justin McCully fight on f4wonline.com: “So the second round was about to start and as McCully was getting out of his chair he stumbled. They stopped the clock between rounds and brought the doctor into the ring and he looked at McCully, asked some questions, and then shook his head no. The fans started booing. So the doctor pushed him sideways and McCully couldn’t keep his base. Doctor did it again, same thing. More booing. And they booed and booed and the next thing you know, they took the stools out of the ring and THE FIGHT CONTINUED. Everyone in press row was wondering what the hell this was all about.”

    The judgment of the Oregon athletic commission’s doctors looks even worse as a result of this line in Sherdog’s post-fight press conference recap: “White said nobody went to the hospital when asked if Tim Hague was OK following his loss to Todd Duffee.”

    I’m assuming that White meant nobody in the Hague-Duffee fight went to the hospital, because it couldn’t possibly be the case that nobody on the entire card went to the hospital (especially given that several fighters were knocked out cold, an unconscious Chris Leben had a seizure in the cage, etc.). If it’s accurate that the Oregon athletic commission’s doctors didn’t send Hague to the hospital for testing after his knockout loss, that is a travesty.

  6. King Famous says:

    Good card, some entertaining stuff. Randy looked very good — fast and light on his feet. But Nog’s boxing is too good, and the ground work was too much for Randy.

    Still, exciting fight all the way through.

    I have no idea how big Nog will even deal with Lesnar — lets see if Cro-Cop shows up against the power-house Dos Santos.

  7. David M says:

    I knew a healthy Nog, even one entirely devoid of his speed and reflexes, would kill Randy. There is a reason the UFC has fed Randy a steady dose of wrestlers and mma-strikers his whole career: his jiu jitsu skills aren’t very good. Nog swept him 3 times! It was a great performance by Nog. Everyone says Randy is his/her fighting hero, but Nog is mine. The man literally can barely move his head, yet he stayed in the pocket and just crushed Couture. I really hope he can beat Lesnar but I am scared shitless that he will be severely hurt.

  8. Dave2 says:

    I would like to see if Nog can beat Lesnar but really it’s a case of my heart roots for Nog but my head says Lesnar would trounce him. Big Nog has a higher fighting IQ than Lesnar (a greenhorn) but all the BJJ, ground grappling and technical boxing skill in the world isn’t going to outweigh Lesnar’s size, power and (yes) speed advantages. It’s such a shame that Nog is no longer in his prime because that Nog (equipped with faster reflexes, movement and a better chin) would sub Lesnar.

  9. 45 Huddle says:

    Nogueira has admitted that he has a harder time catching fighters in submissions due to the vaseline used on the face. That only decreases his chances.

    Lesnar would like just use his powerful job and hurt him up against the fence…. On the ground, be cautious like he was against Mir.

  10. Ultimo Santa says:

    I have a hard time believing that Nog’s “Lead with your face” strategy is a wise one against Lesnar – who, despite his lack of technical proficiency – has a fast and dangerous jab.

    I almost think Anderson Silva would have a better chance of beating Lesnar than most of the HWs in the UFC.

    It would depend on how many head shots Anderson could land before Brock could score a takedown. You never know?

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