Pick'em Leagues: THE BIG SHOW CASUAL BEST OF THE REST Single Event PvP: FANTASY POOLS Betting Leagues: THE BIG SHOW BEST OF THE REST
  MMA Playground 4.0 is live!     Returning members: check out the patch notes     New members: visit our getting started guide, read the FAQ's and start playing!

Tim Sylvia/Randy Couture Article

Print  
Posted By Message

ffforgottenx

Standup Guy

ffforgottenx Avatar
1
 
 
 


 
 
Posts:448
Career:2,369-1,558
Joined:Jan 2007
Chips:
40
Credit: UFC.com

Sylvia, Couture Ready for Historic Battle SaturdayBy Thomas Gerbasi

Tim Sylvia was chomping at the bit, antsy to find out who would be standing across the Octagon from him at UFC 68 on March 3rd in Columbus, Ohio. His manager, Monte Cox, held the 6 foot 8 ‘Maine-iac’ at bay, assuring him that the delay was all for a good reason.

“He said they weren’t telling him yet – that it was gonna be a big deal, so I just needed to wait and see,” said Sylvia Monday afternoon on an international media teleconference.

It was a big deal, and in mid-January, Sylvia got the news he was waiting for – he was going to be fighting a legend, two-time UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Randy Couture, who at 43 is coming out of a year long retirement to try to make history as the first three-time heavyweight champion in UFC history.

“When I found out, I was like ‘wow, Randy’s coming out of retirement to fight me. That’s crazy,’” recalled Sylvia, a two-time heavyweight champion himself, who can set a record for most consecutive heavyweight title defenses (three) with a win over Couture. “So obviously I called up Randy and asked him what the heck he was doing. (Laughs) In all seriousness though, Randy and I are good friends, so I wished him luck and told him I’d see him in the middle of the Octagon on the 3rd.”

On paper, Couture may need more than luck, given the fact that he is coming off losses in two out of his last three fights to UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell, and the added dimension that he will be facing a fighter who dwarfs him by seven inches and outweighs him anywhere from 40 to 50 pounds come fight night. The competitive juices were still flowing though, and Couture jumped at the chance to leave the retirement ranks for another shot at the title.

“When I retired I had a lot of personal things going on,” he said on the same teleconference. “I was going through a fairly nasty divorce and there were a whole lot of things in uproar, and I needed to take a step back and let all that settle. Once it did, I felt a lot more like myself and the competitive spirit of being around the sport doesn’t die easy, and so given the opportunity to compete again, I jumped all over it.”

And despite the odds against him, Couture, one of the most revered mixed martial artists of all-time and a UFC Hall of Famer, has never performed up to mere mortals’ low standards. A world-class amateur wrestler and former Olympic alternate, Couture entered the MMA ranks in 1997 and made a career of upsetting expectations. Whether it was a stirring win over then-unbeatable Vitor Belfort, his ascension to the heavyweight title twice, or his reinvention as a light heavyweight, which saw him hand Tito Ortiz and Liddell stoppage defeats. Sylvia agrees that you can never count ‘The Natural’ out.

“Randy always finds a way to win,” said Sylvia. “He’s an awesome competitor and his wrestling is off the charts.”

The 30-year old Sylvia is no slouch either, winner of all but two of his 27 pro MMA bouts. And in 2006 alone, Sylvia fought and won four times. Couture expects a tough night.

“I think Tim’s stature, both in height and reach, and in weight, pose some interesting problems,” said Couture. “For a guy who’s 6-1 walking around at 225, that’s part of the challenge when you face an athlete like Tim. He’s a well-conditioned fighter who uses his range very, very well and puts together great combinations. The task at hand is to try and figure out a way to get past that.”

It won’t be easy, and Couture even went through some rough moments in the early stages of preparation for the UFC 68 main event, which will be held at the sold-out Nationwide Arena and televised live on pay-per-view (10pm ET / 7pm PT).

“There were a few days where I was questioning what I signed myself up for,” said Couture. “But I kept pushing through and the last four weeks have been fantastic and I believe I’m in the best shape of my life right now, so I’m excited.”

FRANKLIN AND HUGHES RETURN AT UFC 68

Two other high-profile comebacks will be taking place on Saturday, as former UFC champions Rich Franklin and Matt Hughes look to get back in the win column against Jason MacDonald and Chris Lytle, respectively.

The former UFC middleweight champion, Franklin will be looking to rebound from a devastating first round stoppage loss at the hands of Anderson Silva. It was the type of defeat that forced the Cincinnati native to reevaluate a lot of issues in and out of the Octagon.

“A lot of factors in my life built up and caused a lack of focus for that fight,” said Franklin on Monday’s teleconference. “I had to take a step back and look at the approach that I take, not only in training, but in life in general, and I think I changed quite a bit in my life to help me be more focused for Jason in this fight. I feel prepared.”

Franklin also got past the questions most fighters deal with after such a defeat, especially after a long string of successes.

“You sit around for a couple of days and try to figure out what you did wrong,” said Franklin. “Was it in the training – were you overtraining, undertraining - and you start questioning a lot of different stuff. I went through that for several days until, in my case, came to no conclusion and decided that I had to get right back on the horse and do what I do.”

In Edmonton’s MacDonald, Franklin will be facing a quality veteran of the game who is coming off back-to-back submission wins over Ed Herman and Chris Leben in his two UFC starts, and who has been working with the world-renowned Greg Jackson camp (which includes Rashad Evans, Keith Jardine, Nate Marquardt, and Joey Villasenor) in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Hughes, the former UFC welterweight boss, lost his title via a second round TKO to Georges St. Pierre last November. A win over Lytle – a finalist from season four of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ - will propel him to a third bout with St. Pierre, assuming the Canadian defeats Matt Serra at April 7th’s UFC 69 in Houston.

Post #1   2/27/07 8:47:20AM   

DirtySouthBoss

MMA Regular

DirtySouthBoss Avatar
 
 
 


 
 
Posts:60
Career:18-21
Joined:Feb 2007
Chips:
too many words

Post #2   2/27/07 11:47:38AM   

ffforgottenx

Standup Guy

ffforgottenx Avatar
1
 
 
 


 
 
Posts:448
Career:2,369-1,558
Joined:Jan 2007
Chips:
40

Posted by DirtySouthBoss

too many words



too small brain

Post #3   2/27/07 12:12:56PM   

shackle

Standup Guy

shackle Avatar
 
 
 


 
 
Posts:367
Career:152-97
Joined:Jan 2007
Chips:
17
he no like read!

SMASH! SMASH! ANGRY


Posted by DirtySouthBoss

too many words

Post #4   2/27/07 12:33:02PM   

F-Man

Learning to Sprawl

F-Man Avatar
 
 
 


 
 
Posts:47
Career:728-407
Joined:Feb 2007
Camp: Zewkey.com
Chips:
14
i know the odds are against randy but i need to root for the guy. i just hope he doesnt lose in devastating/embarassing fashion, it would kill me to see that happen.

Post #5   2/27/07 2:24:30PM   

THE_AXE_MURDERER

MMA Regular

THE_AXE_MURDERER Avatar
 
 
 


 
 
Posts:203
Career:76-48
Joined:Jan 2007
Camp: Rascal Fight Team
Chips:
2
Sylvia is gonna KO Couture believe me I have so much respect for Randy but Tim is out to prove he is still the champ hes gonna make an example out of Randy.I wish Randy would have never came back I truely believed he wouldnt but whatever.

Last edited 2/27/07 3:33PM server time by THE_AXE_MURDERER
Edit note/reason: n/a

Post #6   2/27/07 3:31:48PM   

Northrend

In Full Mount

Northrend Avatar
 
 
 


 
 
Posts:699
Career:110-62
Joined:Feb 2007
Camp: Team Pride
Chips:
41

Posted by THE_AXE_MURDERER

Sylvia is gonna KO Couture believe me I have so much respect for Randy but Tim is out to prove he is still the champ hes gonna make an example out of Randy.I wish Randy would have never came back I truely believed he wouldnt but whatever.




Lies!!!!

Randy by TKO baby

Post #7   2/27/07 3:52:18PM   

THE_AXE_MURDERER

MMA Regular

THE_AXE_MURDERER Avatar
 
 
 


 
 
Posts:203
Career:76-48
Joined:Jan 2007
Camp: Rascal Fight Team
Chips:
2

Posted by Northrend


Posted by THE_AXE_MURDERER

Sylvia is gonna KO Couture believe me I have so much respect for Randy but Tim is out to prove he is still the champ hes gonna make an example out of Randy.I wish Randy would have never came back I truely believed he wouldnt but whatever.




Lies!!!!

Randy by TKO baby

I understand I dont wanna see Randy get KO'd but I want Tim to win cuz i love how everyone hates him.

Post #8   2/27/07 4:05:12PM   

Ydoc

Belt Contender

Ydoc Avatar
2

 
 
 


 
 
Posts:972
Career:1,371-849
Joined:Feb 2007
Camp: Camp David
Chips:
80
I think Tim will play it safe and keep Randy at bay with jabs until Couture attacks in later rounds for the win. My faith is in Randy's drive, heart, game plan, and Tim's complacent set of mind not to rock the boat.

Post #9   2/27/07 4:06:27PM   

Lay_N_Pray

In Full Mount

Lay_N_Pray Avatar
 
 
 


 
 
Posts:589
Career:253-130
Joined:Jan 2007
Camp: TAPOUT
Chips:
76
Cheering for Randy is going to be like cheering for the Cubs. He has everyone behind him including me, but Tim is just going to be to much and unfortunately for Randy, he will get KO'd

But here is to hoping Im wrong

Post #10   2/27/07 7:25:16PM   

loller90278

BANNED

loller90278 Avatar
1
 
 
 


 
 
Posts:3,065
Career:384-262
Joined:Jan 2007
Chips:
373

Posted by ffforgottenx


Posted by DirtySouthBoss

too many words



too small brain



that post was hypocritical loool

Post #11   2/27/07 7:50:19PM   

ffforgottenx

Standup Guy

ffforgottenx Avatar
1
 
 
 


 
 
Posts:448
Career:2,369-1,558
Joined:Jan 2007
Chips:
40

Posted by loller90278


Posted by ffforgottenx


Posted by DirtySouthBoss

too many words



too small brain



that post was hypocritical loool



i wouldnt say hypocritical.. but it was definately just as dumb
i realized that after i posted it

Post #12   2/28/07 8:54:22AM