Couture edges Vera, Hardy earns title shot with win over Swick & Bisping TKO’s Kang at UFC 105

ufc 105Randy Couture survived a couple of scary moments during his UFC 105 showdown with Brandon Vera this evening in Manchester, England to end up on the winning side of things via unanimous decision.

Couture utilized his superior clinch control to dictate the pace of the bout, imposing his will on Vera despite being staggered with several hard kicks to the body from the dangerous Filipino-American striker, picking up the nod on all three judge’s scorecards with a unanimous score of 29-28.

Dan Hardy earned his crack at Georges St. Pierre and the UFC welterweight championshp with an impressive unanimous decision victory over Mike Swick. Hardy utilized a strong clinch game, durable chin and punishing stand up en route to his shot at the welterweight crown in the near future.

Michael Bisping overcame being controlled from the top by Denis Kang for the bulk of the first round to shift gears in the second and put away his foe in an impressive return to the Octagon. It was apparent that the end was near after Bisping followed a takedown in the second round with a barrage of punches that had Kang on queer street until a final ground and pound assault forced the bout’s conclusion.

The second round TKO over Denis Kang could easily be viewed as Bisping’s most impressive to date.

Matt Brown showed exactly why he’s widely viewed to be one of the grittiest fighters in the UFC as he fought his way out of a nasty James Wilks kimura attmmpt in the third round to pounce on his foe, stopping the Brit with a succession of punches on the ground that forced the referee to call a halt to the contest.

Also looking impressive during the main card of UFC 105 was the lightweight winner of TUF 9, Ross Pearson, as he had his way with the seasoned and respected Aaron Riley standing through the second round when a flying knee in the clinch forced a waterfall of blood from the face of Riley and the bout’s conclusion.

27 COMMENTS
  • Angry Mike says:

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    Weak-Sauce. Thumb up 10 Thumb down 22

  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    Hmmm.

    Vera rocks Couture, lands more strikes, stuffs most of Randys take-down attempts in the 2nd and wins that round. Gets a takedown himself in the 3rd, gets full mount, and somehow comes up short on the decision?

    Does anyone else see the problem I’m having with this decision? Randy may have had more octagon control b/c he held him against the fence most of the fight, but Vera definately had more offense.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 45 Thumb down 10

  • cocoonofhorror says:

    the Vera/Handy decision was every bit as bad as the Shogun robbery. Vera clearly won that fight.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 19

  • BigDave says:

    Randy won the fight clean. Vera landed 2 kicks that hurt and had a mount he did nothing with. Randy controled most the fight and although boring was effective. and in the small exchanges in the clinch Randy got the better of it.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 22 Thumb down 20

  • bigbadjohn says:

    Vera owned every striking exchange and inflicted more damage. big dave does have one thing right. the fight was boring. so Randy got the better of the “small exchanges” in the clinch and thats what you gets you the win in the UFC? Octagon control? The scoring system is whacked. How many freaking times have I seen the “loser” of the fight leave without injury and the “victor” beat and almost broken. In a fight I’d hope the decisions would be more reflective of damage taken and given but I guess that’s wishful thinking.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 19 Thumb down 8

  • xtreme_machine says:

    Vera WON that fight.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 20 Thumb down 11

  • Makington says:

    3 things to say.

    1. God damn do I suck. I picked nearly every single fight wrong except Brown/Wilks & Etim/Gugerty. This is my shameful all time low, but atleast I did not bet anything.
    2. I really haven’t thought enough if I believe Vera should have won, since it was honestly so close to me. I was one of the few rooting for Vera but it’s nowhere near as bad a decision as Shogun/Machida. All that said, Couture is a true class act and a real champion everytime he opens his mouth.
    3. I haven’t seen someone crumple so badly as when Andre hit Delgado in a long time. I thought he’d be spending his post fight in the morgue instead of the hospital. Somehow Siver won the KOotN award, sheesh!

    A pretty good night all in all considering I embarrassed myself in front of everyone with me confidently calling every fight wrong before they started.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

  • Connor Cobain says:

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    Weak-Sauce. Thumb up 7 Thumb down 19

  • Makington says:

    I was pretty disappointed in Kang too. He’s such a better fighter than that. Him, Swick, and Riley all let me down tonight. Someone must have been sniping some tranquilizer darts around because they all looked much more sluggish than usual.

    Bisping immediately got taken down after his fight and nearly got his arm broken off by his little nervous kid who couldn’t stop rubbing his hands, and Kang still lost!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  • H3ro says:

    If I were judge, I would have called the fight 29-28 Vera. I thought this fight was really close, but Couture didn’t do much damage when he had Vera against the cage. I also thought Vera should have finished the fight when he hurt Couture a couple of times. I think Couture won bc of his status. If you put Joe Blow in Couture’s shoes, the call would have gone to Vera. Just my opinion.

    I also like this quote by Cory: “barrage of punches that had Kang on queer street until a final ground and pound assault forced the bout’s conclusion.”

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 7

  • king mah mah says:

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    Weak-Sauce. Thumb up 4 Thumb down 15

  • mikefab says:

    I thought it was a very entertaining card. The Randy/Vera fight was close and could have gone either way. Randy has become MMA’s version of Bernard Hopkins. He wins with experience and defense. I don’t think you will ever see an “exciting” Randy fight again, but he will find ways to win.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  • MMApride19 says:

    mikefab: I thought it was a very entertaining card.The Randy/Vera fight was close and could have gone either way.Randy has become MMA’s version of Bernard Hopkins.He wins with experience and defense.I don’t think you will ever see an “exciting” Randy fight again, but he will find ways to win.

    Perfect example of – ‘A fighters only remembered by his most recent fight’. Lol.

    How will we never see Couture in an exciting bout again…? You say this when just a couple of months ago, he fought in one of the most exciting fights of the year… That fight against Nog is easily one of the best fights this year. It was amazing.

    I see Couture taking part in MANY more exciting fights. He had a great gameplan against Vera.. who is a very dangerous striker. Although i didnt think Couture won, i thought Vera squeezed the decision out due to damage dealt. But.. if Couture had just thrown a few more punches and knees in the clinch.. i could easily have justified a win for him. He had a great gameplan… but just didnt quite do enough to get the victory IMO… However in those ‘judges’ eyes, he did.

    First the Shogun vs Machida fight.. now this…. Seriously bad judging system. I say bring back Pride judging!!! Judge it on the whole fight, not individual rounds.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  • Vogairian says:

    Overall I enjoyed the card. A lot of big names and a lot of good fights considering it was free. I didn’t really have much of a problem with Randy winning. It was a close fight and neither fighter did a whole lot to win and in a fight like that, the guy who controls where the fight takes place is usually going to win.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    What are the chances of Randy fighting Machida `for the title next????? Very good. I would not be surprised if he either fights Shogun next for a title shot or is just awarded a title shot straight up.

    “the guy who controls where the fight takes place is usually going to win”

    Which is stupid. A fight is about fighting and trying to win by damaging or forcing the opponent to tap. If Randy can’t win by fighting he should not be awarded for trying to stop Vera from doing so.

    As for judging I agree that a fight should be judged on attempts to finish or damage. Take downs should only be awarded points if they are clean throws or damaging ones and not if 1 dude spends 3/4 of the fight attempting them getting a poor throw eventually and doing nothing with it. Clinch work should be scored a lot less than other strikes and should be reset as much as need be. Lets face it it is often a way of preventing your opponent striking by smothering and it is kind of negative game plan that should not be awarded. Boxing and other fight sports reset a lot more often and although I would not want to see it done quite so much in MMA I think a little more would be better.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  • Rich S. says:

    And once again my picks were horribly wrong..

    6 of my picks were right but NONE of the methods of victory were..

    First, I saw exactly what I wanted to see from Andre Winner tonight and I can’t WAIT for some of the matchups this kid is going to get..

    Second, Pearson performed far better than he EVER did on the show..
    When did this guy become a well-rounded, devastating striker?
    Kicks, knees, elbows.. And I thought he was just a wrestler..
    If he’s going to keep performing like that I hope they can make room for him on the American cards..

    I’d rather see Matt Brown vs. Dan Hardy than GSP vs. Dan Hardy..
    Even with Swick’s loss tonight, I still think he’d have a better shot at GSP.. “Better” shot.. still not a very good shot.. Then again, with the way things seem to go these days, we’ll probably see Dan Hardy knock GSP out in 10 seconds.. Also, just a note, taking nothing from Hardy’s dominance, Swick did not look like himself tonight.. Maybe it was the trip to England..

    I take nothing from Bisping’s victory, but Kang is clearly just the latest victim of the “Japan to UFC” curse.. I thought this guy was going to come in and knock the MW division on it’s ass..
    And now, he’s 1-2, with that one victory being totally unimportant.. Still, It’s nice to see Bisping bounce back from a knockout, call out top competition for his return, and win.. I’ve always been a fan of Bisping, and it’s nice to see him back on the winning side with a beautiful performance, but I had high hopes for Kang..

    Gustafsson looked pretty vicious tonight, but if he tries that “swing with reckless abandon” stuff with any of the other guys in his division, he’ll be in for some serious trouble..

    And lastly,
    This was Vera’s fight to win, unfortunately for him, he didn’t do enough to take it.. It’s almost like he was so proud of his takedown defense that he wanted to show it off, instead of trying to get off the cage and keep his distance.. Either that or he was waiting for the ref to seperate them, but that is the most idiotic thing you can possibly do with these judges..
    I know it looks like someone is winning when they are constantly holding their opponent’a legs/waist, but if they don’t get the takedown, they shouldn’t be awarded any points.. This isn’t the worst of the decisions, but I see them getting worse in the future.. Still, I suppose it’s nice to see Randy win..

    Also, did anyone notice the CONSTANT mention of the possibility of Vera “defeating the legend”?
    Maybe that supports previous theories that the UFC made this matchup to propel Vera into title contention..
    It sounded alot like the advertising they did before they sent Ken Shamrock in to get completely dismantled by Rich Franklin..

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  • BigDave says:

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    Weak-Sauce. Thumb up 1 Thumb down 12

  • nope says:

    I think the pace of the show on spike made it seem more boring than it would if it was live on PPV. Constantly being bombarded with video game and bud light commercials between every round and clip package really slows the percieved pace down.

    Also, the Kang excuse of “He’s better than that” is wearing thin. He looked great a few years ago but it seems as if now, when he gets beat up a little bit he just sort of gives up.

    One more thing, Did anyone else notice Rogan swingin on Hardy’s balls the entire fight? It was rediculous.

    I thought it was going to be Vera by Split decision at the end of the fight.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  • Angry Mike says:

    Couture used the only game plan he could to win. He isn’t as fast as Vera and wouldn’t have won a strking contest. Moreover, he’s always used his clinch and grappling to control opponents and the fight. Vera didn’t have the strength to push away and create enough distance to use his striking, except on an occasional basis. People can complain that Couture’s strategy was boring, but he got what he wanted: The win. I guess every fighter has to chose their identity: A fighter who’s willing to lose as long as it’s a dramatic fight, or a fighter who wants to win and will use a “boring” game plan if that’s what it takes.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  • Angry Mike says:

    And I’ll say it again: Told you so.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  • MMApride19 says:

    nope: Did anyone else notice Rogan swingin on Hardy’s balls the entire fight? It was rediculous.I thought it was going to be Vera by Split decision at the end of the fight.

    To be fair though… Hardy did look pretty awesome in the fight. He made it look quite easy i thought. And i honestly thought he could have easily finished it on multiple occasions. Maybe he just didnt want to take any risks? I dont know, but a little more ‘killer instinct’ wouldnt have hurt. Everytime Swick engaged in strikes with Hardy, Swick came out rocked or damaged. Each punch that Hardy landed on Swick hurt him. He has big power in those hooks man… i was very impressed. And he took some shots aswell… which he shook off like they were nothing!

    I mean.. i was very impressed with Hardy. Very. Do i think he has a chance against GSP? Yes of course he has a chance. Everyone who steps in the octagon to fight has a chance to win. Do i think he WILL win? Nope lol. I think he will join everyone else who fell victim to GSP’s takedowns. GSP atm is above and beyond the rest of the competition. Im happy to see Hardy get a title shot, as im from the UK, and its great to see a UK fighter finally get to that level and achieve a title shot. I do think he deserves the shot, because he has beat 4 really tough opponents now, with Swick being the toughest and his most impressive win to date. I rate Swick very highly, so its a huge win for Hardy IMO. I just think GSP will be to much for him. Hardy needs to start training his wrestling immediately, and train with only the BEST wrestlers he can find. He can win the fight… if he can keep it standing. But GSP has proved to everyone that his takedowns probebly the best in MMA at the moment, and if he wants to take his opponents down… then he will. However…. i will definetly be cheering for Hardy, and will be hoping he becomes the first UK champion, that would be a great moment for MMA in the UK. You never know.. anything can happen!!!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Vogairian says:

    MMA-LOGIC: What are the chances of Randy fighting Machida `for the title next????? Very good.I would not be surprised if he either fights Shogun next for a title shot or is just awarded a title shot straight up.“the guy who controls where the fight takes place is usually going to win”Which is stupid. A fight is about fighting and trying to win by damaging or forcing the opponent to tap. If Randy can’t win by fighting he should not be awarded for trying to stop Vera from doing so.As for judging I agree that a fight should be judged on attempts to finish or damage.Take downs should only be awarded points if they are clean throws or damaging ones and not if 1 dude spends 3/4 of the fight attempting them getting a poor throw eventually and doing nothing with it. Clinch work should be scored a lot less than other strikes and should be reset as much as need be. Lets face it it is often a way of preventing your opponent striking by smothering and it is kind of negative game plan that should not be awarded. Boxing and other fight sports reset a lot more often and although I would not want to see it done quite so much in MMA I think a little more would be better.

    A fight is about asserting your dominance over your opponent and that’s exactly what Randy did. If you want a drunken bar fight with two guys throwing slopping punches that miss 75% of the time, there are plenty of fighters that can give you that, Randy is always going to try and make sure the fight plays out exactly like he wants it to. Vera had a few kicks and a very ineffective mount, that’s not enough to overcome being controlled the whole fight. Randy had the fight where he wanted it a good 90% of the match, so yes, he controlled the fight.

    Also I’m pretty sure that Shogun and Machida are fighting each other before anyone gets another crack at the LHW strap.

    Not sure if you have a problem with me or what, but every time you post, I care a little less about what you have to say.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  • edub says:

    Vogairian: fight is about asserting your dominance over your opponent and that’s exactly what Randy did.

    No he didnt. Pushing your opponent into the fence could be considered controlling or it could also be considered stauling. Couture is usually a monster in the clinch with dirty boxing takedowns and knees to the thighs. Except for the knees he did none of these. He had one takedown which he kept vera on the ground with for about 6 seconds. I dont mind if people say he won. Half the people I watched it with thought he did (most of those I believe said that because of his popularity). However to say he controlled 90% of the fight is just simply inaccurate. My card was 29-27 Vera.

    When Randy looks like he is surprised to win a decision that should be a sign that someone f’d up.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  • Vogairian says:

    edub:
    No he didnt. Pushing your opponent into the fence could be considered controlling or it could also be considered stauling. Couture is usually a monster in the clinch with dirty boxing takedowns and knees to the thighs. Except for the knees he did none of these. He had one takedown which he kept vera on the ground with for about 6 seconds. I dont mind if people say he won. Half the people I watched it with thought he did (most of those I believe said that because of his popularity). However to say he controlled 90% of the fight is just simply inaccurate. My card was 29-27 Vera.When Randy looks like he is surprised to win a decision that should be a sign that someone f’d up.

    Randy wasn’t able to take Vera down at will, but he did throw plenty of punches/elbows/knees from the clinch. The only round I thought Vera did something to win was Round 2. Round 1 and 3 to me Randy won. I think overall Brandon had the best round in the fight, but Randy had Vera against the cage one of the two places he wanted the fight to go and while he was there he landed more strikes than Vera. Randy fought a defensive fight and while it wasn’t exciting he still controlled where the fight was. Vera would get off the cage and Randy would put him right back into a place he didn’t want to be, that to me is the definition of control.

    That said, if we were scoring this overall as opposed to round by round, I’d have give it to Vera.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • edub says:

    Vogairian: but Randy had Vera against the cage one of the two places he wanted the fight to go and while he was there he landed more strikes than Vera.

    This is the part where we differ Vog. I think the strikes were very even when it comes to amount landed. Randy didnt really let loose witht the dirty boxing because he couldnt control Vera that well. The strikes Vera landed were a lot harder. I really just need to watch it again.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • GassedOut says:

    I’m happy Randy was given the victory, but I had it 29-28 Vera as well. I thought he wond the 2nd and third rounds with the more accurate offence. Sure it was back and forth a bit, but I thought Vera had the better game. The clinch game is a tough call though. If you think about how Randy utilized the clinch vs. say Gonzaga, that was effective. If you saw what I saw, you don’t think the same thing about this fight and Randy’s non-use of the clinch. Someone else said it, but I agree – if Randy look surprised to win, somebody screwed up (the judges).

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • JabCrossHook says:

    Randy made it a hugging match and only landed a few semi-significant strikes, they should really stop with that octagon control category stick with actual DAMAGE DONE. In terms of damage done, Vera did more to Couture, that’s why he at least should have gotten a split decision victory but hey at least it’s not as bad as Shogun vs Machida.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

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