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Three burning questions heading into UFC 105

By Zach Arnold | November 12, 2009

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You’ll have to read the 3,000 word article to know what they are, though they are pretty easy to come up with on your own.

Odds for the main fights coming up on Saturday’s card:

Brandon Vera (-110) vs. Randy Couture (-120)
Michael Bisping (-105) vs. Denis Kang (-125)
Dan Hardy (+190) vs. Mike Swick (-240)
James Wilks (+138) vs. Matt Brown (-168)
Ross Pearson (+165) vs. Aaron Riley (-205)
Paul Taylor (+210) vs. John Hathaway (-260)
Shannon Gugerty (+265) vs. Terry Etim (-325)
Nick Osipczak (+265) vs. Matt Riddle (-325)
Dennis Siver (+260) vs. Paul Kelly (-320)
Alexander Gustafsson (+110) vs. Jared Hamman (-140)
Rolando Delgado (+265) vs. Andre Winner (-325)

I’m not as interested in this card on Saturday as I am for the WEC show on 11/18.

One of the questions I have going into UFC 105 is addressed in a column by Mike Coughlin:

The UFC does a lot of things right, but the treatment of Randy Couture has been disappointing. His last fight – a competitive 15 minute war with one of the greatest heavyweights of all time in Rodrigo Nogueira – was relegated to being the main-event of the 2nd PPV of August. As such, while a million people paid to watch Anderson Silva fight, less than half that number paid to see Randy compete. That shouldn’t be the case. One of the sport’s most beloved figures, and one of ALL sports’ most inspirational stories, shouldn’t be a PPV afterthought. I don’t care how many shows the UFC wanted to run, and how the schedule happened to fall: Randy deserved better.

Now, Couture is back, fighting Brandon Vera. On Spike TV. For free. A week before a PPV from Las Vegas is headlined by a guy he beat and a guy he trains. This isn’t right. It doesn’t matter how desensitized we are to Couture’s story, we won’t be someday. His final fights – and eventually we have to be witnessing his final fights, right? – should be meticulously catalogued for all time. Every single step he takes, every day of practice, should be recorded so that future generations can relive what we’re all taking for granted.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, UK, Zach Arnold | 22 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

22 Responses to “Three burning questions heading into UFC 105”

  1. Michaelthebox says:

    I guess Coughlin has already forgotten how Couture tried to fuck over the UFC, and is currently getting paid enormous mountains of money?

  2. Jonathan says:

    Coughlin is also forgetting that UFC 102 was in Couture’s neck of the woods and that he wanted to fight there.

    The guy is the headliner. There is no such thing as a bad date for his fight. People weren’t interested in buying. History shows us they have never been, at least not in huge numbers.

    Being on Spike isn’t disrespectful. It gives more people a chance to see him. Coughlin is the worst, like a less coherent Alvarez.

  3. jr says:

    We don’t want to take Randy’s appearance in the Body By Jake informercial for granted

  4. Detective Roadblock says:

    This Coghlin guy is a piece of work. And a dummy. Is he actually arguing that people should be paying for this garbage fight? I’m not even planning on watching it for free.

    Randy is 16-10, soon to be 16-11. In the the big MMA history book that has yet to be written he’ll go down with the Tank Abbotts and Ken Shamrocks of the world. If anything his career will serve to point out that “back then before real athletes got into the sport a 40 year old man on [edited] with only wrestling skills was able to win titles in two weight classes several times.”

    Ed. — I rarely step into the comments, but I had to on this one to avoid any legal threats. If you take issue with it, e-mail me and we’ll talk.

  5. Brad Wharton says:

    Another way of looking at it is that the UFC want a good rating on Spike to shout about after Strikeforce did a decent TV number last week.

    For that reason, they have called upon one of their most beloved and respected fighters of all time, putting him on free TV for all to see.

    Lets call the UK cards what they are – UFC Fight Fights, occasionally with a decent main event. Just because they give it a number doesn’t change the fact that they are second tier shows and hey, they’re not asking you to pay for it.

    If this card took place in the states and was called UFC 20, people would be heaping praise on the UFC for putting on such a stacked card for the fans and pulling off some great promotional work by sticking one of the most recognised fighters in the game on free TV.

  6. GassedOut says:

    There is clearly more than one school of thought on this issue. I’m more of the opinion that this was done as a part of the ratings war with Strikeforce/CBS. You can make the PPV argument to be sure, but I don’t hear Randy complaining. In fact, I heard him ask for a shot at the Dragon.

    I’ve met Randy. He speaks very plainly and doesn’t pull punches. If he wasn’t happy with his current arrangement, he’d say something. (He’s also one of the most soft-spoken individuals I’ve ever met, ironically. He’s a bear of a man, but what a nice guy!) The fact that he hasn’t speaks volumes, love him or hate him.

  7. Alan Conceicao says:

    His final fights – and eventually we have to be witnessing his final fights, right? – should be meticulously catalogued for all time.

    This is, quite possibly, the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard in regards to the sport of MMA.

    Also, in reference to the article you wrote Zach: The Japanese fans will, also, abandon someone who is not competitive. Sakuraba was a household name once and now couldn’t get the cage show DREAM held out of the doldrums. Its a rather simple reality that selling legends on what they’ve done in the past becomes increasingly difficult if they’re unable to repeat their feats and time begins to pass from when they peaked. One legitimate cultural difference is that they can’t feed Couture creme puffs to make him look better without taking massive criticism and taking absurd risks with his future.

    Let’s all just face what this is: Couture is an aged man looking to make as much money as he can while he can make it in the one arena in life he’s been financially successful in. 205lbs is both deep and stunningly berift of stars, something that a Vera win over Couture only helps to solve, no matter how he does it.

  8. Andy says:

    “Every single step he takes, every day of practice, should be recorded so that future generations can relive what we’re all taking for granted.”

    Whoa buddy, take it down a notch. This is akin to the way ESPN treats Favre…

  9. 45 Huddle says:

    Look at Holyfield. Most people still know who the guy is, but he couldn’t sell a PPV to save his life. People know he is not competitive anymore.

    There is little to complain about this card being on SpikeTV. There are 3 good 50/50 fights at the top of this card.

  10. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    Looking at the edit in Mr. Roadblock’s post above, I’d have to say that if Couture isn’t on [edited] then he’s probably on HGH. He certainly doesn’t have a natural body.

  11. 45 Huddle says:

    Randy Couture is taking HGH. Source: Joe Rogan from a few years ago. I don’t think anything illegal can come from that when a UFC announcers states it as fact. He gets around it through a legal doctor’s perscription and the fact that HGH is not tested.

    Now, I don’t know if he is on steroids or not, but I think after Rogan’s statements and looking at common sense, Couture is on something right now.

  12. Dave says:

    Randy signed a biiiig contract with UFC, part of which was that he’d be taken care of if he took care of UFC; such as fighting on these UK shows.

  13. Cheka says:

    @45 Huddle: Once again you come with absurd allegations. Joe Rogan never said Randy takes “HGH”. Joe was on beatdown and he mentioned hormone replacement therapy, which is NOT HGH. Actually what that bonghead tried to say was Androgenic Replacement Therapy, since Hormone Replacement is more for women. In any case, he might be taking HGH or not, but Rogan definitely didn´t accuse him of taking HGH. Androgenic replacement is done with testosterone.

  14. IceMuncher says:

    You’re getting upset at 45 for saying Randy has a doctor’s prescription for HGH, when in fact it’s a prescription for steroids. It’s the same thing, just the specifics are off.

  15. Fluyid says:

    I saw Rogan on ESPN News like 3 years ago and I believe he said that Couture was on HGH.

    Also, did anyone catch the Cotto vs. Pacman weigh-ins? They had Jeremy Piven there as their Joe Rogan. He was even unshaven.

    I’d like to hear how many people were at those weigh-ins. It looked like they had the MGM configured to let more in than usual.

  16. David M says:

    What’s up with all the Randy hate? Seriously comparing his career to Tank Abbott’s? LOL at saying he “only” has wrestling. First of all, his wrestling was good enough to get him to the Olympics as an alternate, in one of the countries that produces the most medals in wrestling.

    Secondly, Randy’s striking was very good. He outstruck Rizzo in his prime, outstruck Liddell in his prime, outstruck Sylvia (I know Ray Mercer did it too, but Sylvia–albeit a healthy Sylvia and I dont think he was healthy against Randy–outstruck Vera and Arlovski in their 3rd fight). He has excellent sub defense, good head movement, and his cardio has always been stellar.

  17. 45 Huddle says:

    There is a video on ESPN right now. I believe it said around 6,500 people at the weigh-ins. They also said it was much more then usual for a boxing weigh-ins, and credited it with Manny being a star and Cotto having his PR following.

    This is the biggest fight of the year for boxing (in my opinion). I think it could be a lot of fun to watch.

  18. 45 Huddle says:

    Sorry if I was slightly off on what Couture is medically getting from a doctor. Either way, he is obviously taking something. The human body doesn’t look that good at 45ish without some help from steroids or HGH.

    I’m not one of those guys who says steroids are this horrible vile thing like the media tries to portray it to be. I also think a guy like Randy Couture is a perfect example of why steroids in sports (especially combat) should not be allowed. Evander Holyfield is another example.

    Both have great bodies for their ages. The drugs have helped them keep up physically beyond what nature has intended. At the same time, their REFLEXES have not benefited from a drug.

    So now we have guys who are physically 35 but have the reflexes of a 45 year old man. That is a dangerous combination. And Couture vs. Nogueira was evidence of this. Nogueira threw the slowest punches and Couture could not get his head out of the way. That’s how you get brain damage….

  19. NotInLovewithcoture says:

    lets not forget he’s getting fast tracked to title shot in a division he hasn’t fought in in 3 years.

  20. Alan Conceicao says:

    To me, there’s two issues:

    1) People are willing to lookover and not ask questions about Couture because its Randy. You look around, and no one will write an article saying, “Is Randy using PEDs?” You’ll see a hundred variations on the story for Overeem (who seems like a candidate for questioning too), but almost none about Randy.

    2) He’s fooled a lot of people into thinking that 45 is going to be a general retirement age for the sport. Hey, to be fair, Liddell is still kicking around (even if he’s won a fight in like 3 years), Coleman is still there sorta, but whatever potential legal avenues Couture is taking, so are guys half his age, and its gonna show as time goes on. Unfortunately, part of the way its gonna show is neurologic damage to these guys.

    A fun side note:

    -Rampage had an interview that bits and pieces of have hit the net, and its pretty clear that he’s not a long term retirement. This is a money issue. Naturally, I’m sure Meltzer won’t report that, and if he does, he will talk about how he’s missing out on perhaps a couple million dollars and costing the UFC perhaps $15-20 million. No one will put the two together.

  21. Fluyid says:

    “So now we have guys who are physically 35 but have the reflexes of a 45 year old man. That is a dangerous combination.”

    Very much so.

    Also, I know people who have done HGH that now greatly regret it. These guys have enlarged prostates and other assorted maladies and issues that guys their age usually don’t have to worry about.

    I AM one of those guys who think that performance enhancing drugs are vile in virtually every way, just to state my bias.

  22. NotInLovewithcoture says:

    To be fair I saw Randleman at snegoku and he looked healthy and powerful, though a bit tired in round 3.

    He’s 38.

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