Although ticket sales for UFC 102 in Portland were less than expected, the UFC delivered with a great card Saturday night at the Rose Garden. We saw two legends go at it, the middleweight division become even less clear and the fastest fight in UFC history.
1. Couture and Nogueira can still throw down.
Randy Couture entered the cage Saturday night at 46 years of age. Nogueira came in with over 30 fights to his name and over 10 years of face smashing. It was two legends fighting their hearts out and showing the fans why they have achieved such status. Nog won which sets up more competitive match ups in the Heavyweight division (Nog vs. Brock anyone?) and Randy will be back soon enough to put on another great show.
2. Nate Marquardt Keeps Getting Better
Marquardt vs. Demian Maia was thought to be one of the most competitive fights on the card. Nope. Nate the Great landed one big right hand just seconds into round 1 and it was lights out for the previously undefeated Maia. As good as Maia has been I couldn’t picture how he would win this fight. Marquardt would have been a really tough guy to submit. On the other hand, I didn’t see an early knock out coming either. Nate will either get another shot at Anderson Silva or have to face Dan Henderson. Henderson vs. Marquardt would be an unbelievable match up, with Nate being the slight early favorite.
3. Thiago Silva Is an Animal
Silva showed why he is one of the best prospects in the UFC disposing of Top 10 LightHeavyweight Keith Jardine on his way to another impressive performance. The only loss of his career came to Lyoto Machida, who many regard as the best fighter in the world. Not sure who Silva should fight next, but I can’t wait to see it.
4. Lots of Fights for Randy Left
It was announced after the fight that Couture had signed up for another 28 months and 6 fights. At 46 years of age, this may seem like an unrealistic goal. But Couture weighing in at a 220 lbsproves that he can move down to 205 and challenge some of best at LightHeavyWeight, as well as challenge some of the Heavies. You never know with Randy. He will probably surprise us all and hold another belt one day.
Photos Courtesy of UFC.com