I am just now starting to get caught up on everything and read an article by Dave Meltzer on FoxSports.com that claims while it hasn’t been confirmed, UFC officials are talking about Randy Couture’s next opponent being Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.
You can read Meltzer’s article by clicking here.
Couture vs. Nogueira would be a great match but my pick would still be Randy. I don’t know exactly how he’d do it, but I know he’d find a way.
When someone gets around to beating Randy, I think it will be someone who fights like Brandon Vera, i.e. a guy who will just come out and jump on top of him. If you allow Randy to control the pace and impose his will, you’re screwed. I don’t think there’s a better tactical fighter in the game right now than Couture. His strategy against Gonzaga was perfect. He closed the distance as much as possible by driving him against the cage and using dirty boxing tactics and then also putting the fight on the ground at times. He basically handcuffed Gonzaga for much of the fight. It’s kind of like when a basketball team that isn’t as athletic as its opponent focuses on turning the game into a half-court game to prevent the opposing team from running the floor.
Another analogy is like a poker player who has an opponent “on tilt.” That’s what Randy has done to Sylvia and Gonzaga, put them on tilt. But a guy like Vera would make it hard for Randy to fight from a tactical perspective. He’d push the pace and prevent Couture from getting a chance to pick him a part.
Also, I’ve noticed that Randy has gotten winded during intense exchanges in his past two fights. I’m not saying he hasn’t put the time into his cardio, because we all know he has, I just think his age is responsible for a few limitations. If Vera came out balls out like usual right at the bell then Randy would be sucking wind very early.
Meltzer also states that Couture would like to face Fedor Emelianenko and has made that request. Fedor is not under contract to the UFC right now but the report says both sides are expected to talk again “next week.” The article was published over the weekend so I’m not sure if he means this upcoming week or the following. Regardless, they are supposed to meet again soon.