Tomorrow nights UFC 103 event is exciting overall, Randy Couture is a good draw, but like most long-time fight fans I wish I saw it about 5 years ago when both fighters were actually in their prime. None the less, I am rooting for Randy 'The Natural' Couture (16-9-0) to beat Antonio Rodrigo 'Minotauro' Nogueira (31-5-1) this Saturday night.
With all honesty, I have been a fan of Minotauro way before Couture became a MMA star. I was a devoted Pride fan, the fighters and the way their organization was run set a great example for the MMA industry. But as the presence of Captain America began to form, his package as a MMA fighter was easy to get caught up in. I admit, with a bit of embarrassment while writing for Ultimate Grappling in 2005 and covering UFC 52, I had tears in my eyes when Couture announced his retirement from the sport. But we can chuck it up to me just being a girl.
So what is going to happen Saturday night? Nogueira does have twice the number for fights than Couture. Couture has been out of action since 2007. His one fight and subsequent loss against Brock Lesnar, was hardly a productive one where no fighter could grow from. I do believe that Couture is one of those fighters that had an amazing career from 2003 to 2007 because he was active. Nogueira has been a bit more active over the last two years with fights that he could take something away from with 2 wins (Herring 3 rd decision and Sylvia 3 rd guillotine) and 1 loss (Mir TKO in 2nd). Despite the argument I am making, I can't bring myself to predict it any other way than - Couture wins in the 2nd by ground and pound with a few amazing takedowns in the first building his momentum towards a win. Unfortunately, this win leaves him with no future as a future Fedor fight has absolutely no chance of ever happening.
There is another heavyweight bout to avoid bathroom breaks during - Keith Jardine (14-6-1) against Thiago Silva (13-1-0). Silva doesn't have much name recognition, but he did win 13 fights in a row until his only recent loss to Lyoto Machida. Jardine has a more impressive fight career because of his opponents. Unlike Machida, Jardine has fought the who's who of MMA like, Brandon Vera, Chuck Liddell, Forrest Griffin. He comes from one of my favorite fight camps Jackson's Submission Fighting out of New Mexico. I have never been much of an American Top Team fan - Silva's current camp. So I give this win to Jardine, who takes a beating in the 2nd round to pull off a decision.
Moving right along, there is Nate Marquardt (31-8-2) who is fighting out of Jackson's Submission Camp and teammate of Jardine, verse Demian Maia (11-0) who trains with Wand Fight Team from Sao Paulo. Maia is a submission specialist, but I think Marquardt gets a KO in the first round. Then simply put, I give Aaron Simpson (5-0-0) a lucky win against Ed Herman (17-6-0) and Mike Russow (11-1-0) to beat down Justin McCully (9-4-2).
So far, I guess my predictions or let's say hopes are on the side of America for the big fights tomorrow night on the UFC 103 card.