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THE DUEL: Special Post-UFC 91 Edition

It seems like whenever there is a big event, every media creation known to man feels compelled to do a “special edition.” Well, why should UFC 91 and “The Duel” be any different? We’ve decided to sell out and present for you a special “Post-UFC 91 edition of The Duel.”

And in honor of this special occasion, we’re bringing in both David Andrest and Sam Caplan. Actually, we didn’t bring them in because it was a “special occasion,” they’re doing it this week because they are the only guys we could dig up at 7 a.m. on a Sunday morning.

Let’s us Duel!

1. Randy Couture won round one

Andrest: False. Randy looked competitive in round 1. I heard the after show and listened to Stephan Bonner explain some theory about Randy being smaller therefore him getting up is worth more than a take down and other nonsense. The simple fact is Lesnar put up a 10-9 performance, based on effective grappling, a comparable stand up game, and obvious “Octagon” control. Randy landed some very good punches, and wasn’t nearly as brutalized as some feared he would be, but not getting beat as bad as the man before you is still getting beat.

Caplan: False. As David said, Couture fought well in round 1 but Lesnar definitely won it in my mind. I would like to add though that I don’t think Couture was trying to win the round. He really seemed to be pacing himself and was picking his spots. Everything from Couture’s perspective seemed like it was being done to build up towards later in the fight. If Couture had wanted to steal the round, he could have.

2. If Couture hadn’t taken that punch in the second round, he beats Brock Lesnar

Andrest: False. Couture takes a longer beating and continues to be controlled by the bigger stronger guy. If people re watch that fight objectively, they can clearly see it was only a matter of time. From the first time they locked up, it was clear it was only a matter of time, and it was just a case of how badly would the smaller man with the similar skill set fall victim. Sure anything could have happened, but it wasn’t going to, and before anyone even puts the thought into the back of their head it was not a lucky punch. He meant to throw it, he meant to land it.

Caplan: True. Just look at the staredown before the fight! Randy was smiling like he knew he had it in the bag while Lesnar appeared a bit nervous to me. Couture had him cut and had him starting to gas. Randy was setting up the win for the fourth and fifth round. Kudos for Lesnar to throw that punch and have the accuracy to land it behind Couture’s ear. But if he didn’t connect and the fight went on a little longer, Randy would have had him right where he wanted him.

3. Last night was the last time we’ll be graced with a fight from Randy Couture.

Andrest: False. I think last night was probably good for Couture on some levels. After the fight he seemed in a good frame of mind, did not sound defeated mentally. There are still some interesting fights for Randy, and it’s not like he embarrassed himself and looked like Ken Shamrock last night. He was just fighting in THE match up that has always given him trouble. There is money to be made with interesting super fights. Who knows, maybe a rematch down the road with Lesnar?

Caplan: True. Good for Couture on some levels? Wow, next thing you know Andrest you’ll throw out the old it was a “moral victory” cliche. Look, Couture didn’t look bad last night. He had a good gameplan and was executing it well. However, last night’s loss hurts his legacy and he didn’t look like the physical marvel that he appeared to be during the Sylvia and Gonzaga fights. Couture is 45 last night and he finally started showing some signs of his age. With super heavyweights like Lesnar, Shane Carwin, and Cain Velasquez coming up, there’s no future for Couture at heavyweight. Light heavyweight could be an option but the UFC is three times as deep at 205 as it was when Randy last competed at that weight. Randy has nothing left to prove to anyone — probably not even himself. Randy is going to go home and think about his future and realize there’s no reason for him to continue fighting.


4. As far as current UFC heavyweights are concerned, Brock Lesnar is unbeatable

Caplan: True. Outside of the UFC, I think Fedor beats him and Josh Barnett gives him a lot of problems. Inside of the UFC, I don’t think anyone can touch the guy. I’m a huge Nogueira fan but I believe Lesnar is one fighter who could give Nogueira a beatdown that even he couldn’t come back from. Frank Mir? C’mon. Lesnar smashed him the first time they fought. As long as Lesnar doesn’t slack in his training, he’s going to be UFC heavyweight champ for a long time.

Andrest: False. Lesnar IS beatable. You are talking out of both sides of your face Caplan. It was you who pointed out: “If Lesnar hadn’t have knocked out Couture, Randy would have won” just two short questions ago. The list of coulds is very long. Nogueira, Gonzaga, and as much as I hate to say it Mir. We still don’t have a clear picture of what Carwin brings to a marquee match up as well. So I think it may be a bit early to say Lesnar is unbeatable.

5. Brock Lesnar can beat Fedor Emelianenko

Caplan: False. Lesnar started to gas a little last night. Randy fought cautious and didn’t pressure Lesnar for extended periods of time. Had he done so, Lesnar might have been spent by the end of the first round. If Lesnar and Fedor fought today, Fedor would smash him. Fedor’s standup is better than Randy’s and he’s got a better submission game. I realize Lesnar is still new to MMA, but he’s the same age as Fedor so even if you look three to four years from now, I still believe Fedor will be the better fighter.

Andrest: True. Fedor is better everywhere as Sam pointed out. But again we are dealing in “could” and “what if.” Could he do it? Sure he could. Why not, I can’t imagine it ever happening but Lesnar is a big, strong, fast guy. He could catch Fedor with a big shot, it’s not likely, but I guess it “could” happen.

6. The over/under for UFC 91 buys is 900,000. Do you have the over or under?

Caplan: OVER. I thought the media attention that the event received in the last week was sensational. I don’t care about the state of the economy — if people really want something, they figure out a way to pay for it. And a star studded main event like Lesnar vs. Couture is something that people will make a sacrifice for. I don’t think UFC 91 will hit seven figures, I predict it will come pretty damn close.

Andrest: UNDER. I thought the media attention that the event received in the last week was sensational. But as Dana loves to point out, nobody watches the UFC alone. I think based on only a late push by the media they may have missed out on some bars and establishments that may have purchased the event had it received the media attention sooner. This is a hard side to argue because I think they’ll do around 750,000 buys and I think it is the economy that held them back in the end. Purchasing PPVs is no longer on autopilot.

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