UFC 102 - Couture vs. Nogueira - August 29, 2009 - Rose Garden Arena, Portland, Ore.
Randy Couture (No. 6 HW) vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (No. 5 HW)
I like this fight a lot. I am a big fan of both Randy & Big Nog so it kinda stinks that one guy's gotta lose. I don't know how depreciated Nogueira actually is. I don't believe the rumors that he has repeatedly been knocked out in sparring, but I do know that Minotauro hasn't looked great in his 3 UFC appearances.
Jacare couldn't submit Randy in a grappling match, so I don't see a battle-scarred Nogueira submitting him. I think Randy has the better stand up, even if Nog doesn't show up looking like he did against Frank Mir. I see Randy putting Nog on his back, up against the cage and beating him up for 3 rounds. I hope I'm wrong & I hope there are some surprises. I hope it's a true 'fight'.
Couture by Decision.
Keith Jardine (No. 9 LHW) vs. Thiago Silva
I would like to take Jardine in this fight but I can't. Jardine has repeatedly shown he has trouble with brawlers that rush him & Silva is that kind of fighter. Jardine did impress me in his fight against Rampage, but I don't see this going well for him.
Silva KO, round 1. Chris Leben vs. Jake Rosholt
I don't like this fight, & I couldn't be more disinterested. This shouldn't be on the main card when Gonzaga & Tuchscherer is on the under card. This is a middleweight match up with no relevance, meanwhile 2 decent heavyweights & possible future title contenders may not be seen.
Leben has heavy hands and a solid chin & that should be enough to beat the wrestler Rosholt.
I hope I'm wrong. Leben is a joke.
Leben TKO round 3.
Nate Marquardt (No. 3 MW) vs. Demian Maia (No. 5 MW)
I'm looking forward to this fight the most. The winner will most likely get a shot at Anderson Silva's middleweight belt, after Dan Henderson.
Maia has the best Jiu-Jitsu in the UFC, but Marquardt is no slouch in the grappling department. Nate has definitely got the better stand up. I see Maia getting Nate to the ground & submitting him, or at least working enough submission attempts to get the decision.
I have a gut feeling that this is a fight that would benefit from being 5 rounds & I will not be shocked to see a close split decision with Marquardt the victor.
Maia by Submission, rd 3.
Brandon Vera vs. Krzysztof Soszynski
This is a very tough fight to call. Krzysztof has shown a ton of improvement since his loss to Vinny Magalhaes on the Ultimate Fighter 8, & Vera sometimes shows up not ready to fight. I won't be surprised if I'm wrong & Soszynski beats up on Brandon, but I see Vera showing up in shape, & keeping the distance standing.
Vera by Decision. Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Chris Tuchscherer
Tuchscherer is Brock Lesnar's training partner & is basically just that. From what I've seen, he's a poor man's Brock. I am very interested in seeing the 17-1-0 Tuchscherer debut in the UFC against a top heavyweight.
I'm picturing a less exciting version of Brock Lesnar's debut against Frank Mir. I think Tuchscherer will put Gabe on his back and get carelessly submitted. Chris has faced some decent opposition but I don't think he's fought anyone with the Jiu-Jitsu pedigree of Gonzaga.
I can see Tuchscherer getting a TKO victory because, while Gonzaga has all the skills in the world to be an top 5 heavyweight, he seems to forget how to fight when he gets punched in the face.
Gonzaga by Submission, round 2.
Ed Herman vs. Aaron Simpson
Simpson by Decision
Michael Russow vs. Justin McCully
Russow by Submission.
Todd Duffee vs. Tim Hague
Mark Munoz vs. Nick Catone
Marcus Aurelio vs. Evan Dunham
Dunham by Decision.