Couture talks training for "worst-case scenario" (video)
by MMAjunkie.com Staff on Nov 05, 2008 at 4:25 pm ET
As UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture prepares for next week's UFC 91 main event with Brock Lesnar, the 45-year-old fighter is preparing for all scenarios.
But seeing how he's giving up 14 years of age, 40 pounds and an inch of height, Couture is preparing for one specific scenario more than others.
Couture discussed the fight and his "worst-case-scenario training" while a recent guest of HDNet's "Inside MMA." Thanks to our partnership with the weekly MMA news show, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) now present a clip of the strategy talk.
The Nov. 15 main event fight, which takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, pits a UFC hall-of-famer -- one who's fought for a title in 14 of his 24 professional fights -- against a UFC rookie who owns a mere 2-1 career record.
However, Couture knows that Lesnar, a former WWE superstar who was also an NCAA Division I national wrestling champion, isn't your typical three-fight vet.
"I've been putting my self in worst-case-scenario training," said Couture, who's filled his Las Vegas-based Xtreme Couture gym with heavyweight training partners. "You've got to be on the bottom. If this guy takes me down, I've got to be able to survive and get up and scramble and get out from underneath him. I can't lie down there and give up rounds."
However, the three-time Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling alternate still thinks his bread and butter -- dirty boxing -- can be a viable strategy.
"I still feel comfortable in the clinch and using cage tactics. I was there with Tim (Sylvia). They don't get much bigger than Tim, and Gabe (Gonzaga) was certainly a big, strong guy," said Couture, referring to his two most recent victories. "I don't think Brock is any different in that situation. I'm going to feel pretty comfortable putting him there if he gives me the chance to."
For more on the fight, and Couture's thoughts on why a fight with former PRIDE champion Fedor Emelianenko is unlikely ever to happen, check out the embedded clip.
Bisping Responds to Leben’s Steroid Bust
“I have to admit I was disappointed when I heard. You know, when all’s said and done, I like Chris Leben. He conducted himself well before and after the fight and, as I say, I like the guy. I’m a little disappointed that he’s done what he’s done, bringing the sport into disrepute, but it’s not really my place to have an opinion on it.
The UFC, as they always do, have set the example with the punishment — and they’re right to do that. Should he banned for life? I don’t think so, people make mistakes, people learn from mistakes. Plenty of fighters have recovered after testing positive, the standard is set at nine months and it would be unfair to go any harsher on Chris…
I don’t know if it makes my win any better, you can make a case for it because — without wanting to start slinging mud — he did cheat and I didn’t. I don’t know why he did it or if he knew he was doing it, but I know my performance was purely down to blood, sweat and tears — and that’s all the satisfaction I need.”
Nate Quarry wants to put Maia between a Rock and a hard place
For a lot of fighters, seven months between bouts may feel like an awful long time. But when you’ve been through a purgatory of nearly two very uncertain years between fights—time spent rehabbing a bum back and restructuring a shattered nose—seven months of relative quiet between action can seem fast and furious.
That’s why when Nate “Rock” Quarry is asked about ring rust heading into his UFC 91 bout with Demian Maia, you can hear him mumble under his breath . . . ring rust, shmring rust.
“This is actually really good pacing for me,” says the rejuvenated 36-year-old middleweight. “After a fight I like to take a little time, rest, relax, let the body heal up, remind myself why I train so hard and take care of my little girl [8-year-old Ciera]—maybe take her on vacation or something to show her my appreciation for putting up with me working so hard for the last three months.”
Marcus Davis vs. Chris Lytle on tap for UFC 93
The worst kept secret of a fight now has a date.
UFC welterweights Marcus Davis (15-4 MMA, 7-2 UFC) and Chris Lytle (26-16-5 MMA, 5-8 UFC) have agreed to meet at UFC 93, and bout agreements for the fight have been distributed, sources close to both fighters told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The fight is expected to air on UFC 93's televised main card, which takes place Jan. 17 at The O2 in Dublin, Ireland.
The event airs on pay per view.
Davis and Lytle both spoke openly about wanting to fight each other even before they both competed last month at UFC 89. With victories from each fighter -- Davis submitted Paul Kelly, and Lytle stopped Paul Taylor with a unanimous-decision win -- the pieces fell in place for the bout.
As Davis first told TAGG Radio, MMAjunkie.com's official radio partner, in July, he and Lytle first discussed the fight earlier this year.
"Chris Lytle and I want to fight each other," Davis said at the time. "He's expressed that he wants to fight me. I've expressed that I want to fight him.
"We like each other, we respect each other, but we want to have that fight. And my pitch to Chris is, 'The first guy that starts grappling is a pussy, so let's not do that. Let's just stand up and just beat the hell out of each other. If we get in a clinching scenario, and somebody wants to throw somebody or whatever, go ahead and do it. But let's not try to finish it on the ground. Let's stand up, and let's bang it out.'"
Jerry Bohlander: Where is He Now?
"September 11, 2001. I think that sums it up,” says former UFC light heavyweight Jerry Bohlander The 34-year-old Bohlander names that catastrophic day as the catalyst that took him from the world of mixed martial arts into law enforcement.
Alvarez Back in January
Eddie Alvarez has been down this road before.
As Alvarez was preparing to fight Nick Diaz for the vacant EliteXC 160-pound title on Nov. 8, he received word that the event had been cancelled and the promotion was no more.
Alvarez, who is ranked second at 155 pounds in the latest Sherdog.com rankings, said while he was disappointed by the cancellation of the fight, he wasn’t surprised by Pro Elite’s demise.
BACK IN UFC; COUTURE QUESTIONS AFFLICTION CEO
Spending more than a year away from the sport, UFC heavyweight champion Randy “The Natural” Couture is ready to return on Nov. 15 to face Brock Lesnar at UFC 91. It was a long, strange trip through lawsuits, courtrooms, and other various legal battles, but the champ is ready to get back to his office in the Octagon.
“Fighting in the cage is what I do best. Courtrooms and depositions and crap like that, it’s not really up my alley,” Couture said during a recent appearance on MMAWeekly Radio. “Realistically, I’ve got a short window of opportunity to continue to compete at this level, so I need to take advantage of that while the window’s still open.”
During his time away from the UFC, Couture was focused on making a fight happen with top heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko, and the Affliction promotion seemed to be the place leading the charge to make it happen.
mattew riddle's tuf 8 blog
As for the show, I was going to start cutting down to 155 just so I could beat Junie senseless. After reading Ryan Bader’s blog I realized that Junie might be heading to 170 with Haagen-Dazs as the main sponsor. That and I promised my Mom I would never pick on children with special needs are the only reasons I have not flown out to Kentucky to smash him. I thought it would be impossible to have someone who is a bigger loser then Jeremy May on the show and they proved me wrong........
WAR CHIPPER!!!! I love the junie hate!
Friends Fighting Friends
They say familiarity breeds contempt, but in the world of mixed martial arts, the lines are a bit more blurry. Promoters often pit teammate against teammate, friend against friend, in their pursuit of financial success. Some fighters refuse those advances, no matter the lure.
“We won’t fight each other,” says famed mixed martial arts trainer Greg Jackson when asked about a potential fight between two of his top protégés, Rashad Evans and Keith Jardine.
Former UFC light heavyweight champions Tito Ortiz and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson have pledged never to fight unless the money was “right.” Other competitors seem to have no trouble putting relationships on the back burner and going toe-to-toe with their friends. Karl James Noons and Yves Edwards come to mind.
Few dynamics can match friend-versus-friend in terms of piquing interest. One needs only to look at the clashes between Ortiz and Chuck Liddell to understand the hype such fights can generate. In the case of James Irvin and Scott Smith or Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin, mixing it up inside the cage can forge even stronger bonds and lead today’s modern-day gladiators to hone their games inside the same gym as their former opponents.
Here are some past, scheduled and potential bouts with thick plotlines...
"The Ultimate Fighter 8" ratings improve; Junie Browning to thank?
This past Wednesday's episode of "The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs. Team Mir," which featured controversial cast member Junie Browning's quarterfinal fight with Roli Delgado, scored 1.7 million viewers, an increase of nine percent from the season's first five episodes.
Additionally, the Oct. 22 episode had an audience 35 percent larger than the season low of 1.1 million that tuned in for the third episode of the reality series on Oct. 1.
Spike TV today sent the ratings information to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) via email.
With the recent ratings revival, in doubt aided by the antics of Browning, the eighth season of the show is now averaging 1.6 million weekly viewers. The seventh season of the show ("The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rampage vs. Team Forrest"), which aired earlier this year, averaged 1.3 million viewers for its 11 regular-season episodes.
The only basic cable stations that beat Spike TV and "TUF" this week were Comedy Central (with "South Park" and "Chocolate News") and FX ("Son of Anarchy").
Wednesday's episode of "TUF" peaked with 1.9 million viewers for the Browning-Delgado fight, which took place in the final quarter hour of the show. Browning, whose drunken rampages and confrontations with other cast members have resulted in ratings jumps over the past few weeks, recently told MMAjunkie.com that his actions were the result of being locked in the "TUF" house.
"You're in Vegas, and you can't go anywhere or do anything, so you let loose a little crazier than I normally would." Browning said. "I don't necessarily act like that at home. I can go out to a bar and drink, but I don't mess with people or anything. Once you're in the house, it's almost like being in high school again. You're around a bunch of young guys, we're all crazy and drinking, and I don't like being messed with at all."
EliteXC fighter faces toughest test yet: unemployment
The past few weeks were exciting for middleweight Joey Villasenor. He had prepared vigorously for his rematch with Robbie Lawler.
Though Villasenor was stopped in 22 seconds the first time they met, he was confident things would end differently Nov. 8 in Reno, Nev. Villasenor, who turned 33 on Friday, was feeling good.
Where to now? Joey Villasenor founds himself without a job after EliteXC closed its doors.
In a little more than two weeks, he planned to enter the cage and exact revenge on one of mixed martial arts' top middleweights. Plus, he could earn a much-needed $60,000 -- $30,000 for the fight and $30,000 to win.
Just two more weeks and Villasenor would put a few bucks into his savings account that serves as a retirement fund. But two weeks is a long time when the event's promoter is struggling to make ends meet.
EliteXC’s Top 10 Moments
News of EliteXC’s demise shook the mixed martial arts world on Monday, as an entire stable of fighters suddenly found themselves without a place to work. Any number of reasons behind the 2-year-old promotion’s downfall could be chiseled into its tombstone:
Foray into mixed martial arts failed for boxing promoters.
Organization walked down the same green mile as the World Fighting Alliance, the International Fight League and Bodog Fight.
Promotion unraveled after scandal involving street fighter and UFC retread.
While EliteXC offered just as much controversy as excitement, it enjoyed many bright spots during its 20-month run.
Brock Lesnar on ESPN's "E:60" today
Former World Wrestling Entertainment champion turned UFC heavyweight contender Brock Lesnar will be featured during tonight's "E:60" episode on ESPN.
The newsmagazine show premieres at 7 p.m. ET.
Lesnar, who debuted earlier this year with a loss to former UFC champion Frank Mir, meets current heavyweight title-holder Randy Couture next month at UFC 91 -- an event UFC President Dana White predicts could be one of the organization's biggest ever.
The "E:60" piece will look at Lesnar's path from a high school state wrestling champion to a WWE superstar to an NFL hopeful to UFC contender. Lesnar also talks to E:60 correspondent Tom Farrey about his battle with alcohol and painkiller addiction.
Lesnar (2-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC), 31, made his UFC debut in February at UFC 81. Although he dominated the fight for all but a few seconds, he suffered a first-round submission loss (via kneebar) to Mir. However, he rebounded in August and scored a dominating unanimous-decision victory over Heath Herring at UFC 87 in August. Next month he fights for the title against Couture, the 45-year-old UFC hall-of-famer who returns from a 13-month layoff due to a contract dispute.
Top UFC 91 Fighters Test Negative in Out-of-Competition Drug/Steroid Tests
From Keith Kizer of the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), in an email to FightTicker.com:
The Commission recently tested Randy Couture, Brock Lesnar, Nick Catone, Amir Sadollah, Aaron Riley and Jorge Gurgel. All tests came back negative.
All six fighters are scheduled to fight at UFC 91 in November in Las Vegas.
The NSAC is currently the only commission that tests fighters randomly throughout the year, so the tests are commendable. On the other hand, so far the tests have only included fighters within a month or so of their next fight. What I'd like to see on top of this is testing fighters who may not have a fight scheduled in the near future.
I believe that if there are fighters cheating, they'll try to do it at less-than-predictable times of the year, for example when they believe the commissions won't be paying attention to them.
For fighters training for an upcoming fight, however, it'd be pure foolishness to take performance enhancers then.
‘Fighting Fedor’ Reality Show in Works
Affliction has partnered with M-1 Global, which is shopping around a reality TV series called “Fighting Fedor” that will feature a 16-man tournament with the winner eventually getting a shot at Fedor Emelianenko on an Affliction card.
The partnership was officially announced Thursday at Trump Tower, along with some details on the show.
A promo video presented by M-1 Global explained that participants from various countries will travel to St. Petersburg, Russia, where they’ll train at the Red Devil camp and compete in the tournament. The video said the show will be on “American TV,” though it doesn’t have a home yet.
“We’re currently having negotiations with many different networks and channels,” said M-1 Global President Vadim Finkelchtein through an interpreter.
Finkelchtein said networks are particularly interested because the show will focus on heavyweights. He also noted the international scope of M-1 Global, which through the M-1 Challenge has hosted events this year in Spain, Holland, England, Korea and Japan...
14 Questions for Marcus Davis
Coming off a loss to Mike Swick in June, Marcus Davis will try to bounce back Saturday against Paul Kelly at UFC 89 in Birmingham, England. “The Irish Hand Grenade” shared some old boxing stories with Sherdog.com, as well as his thoughts on various topics from music to alcoholism to his meeting with Kelly.
Sherdog.com: Have you ever been rocked or knocked down during training or ever reconsidered fighting?
Davis: Nope. I've never been knocked out ever in my life. A lot of people look at my boxing record and it says TKO on there -- they think it was from a knockout. It wasn't. It was from a cut. I've never been knocked out in sparring or anything. I've never ever once reconsidered fighting. I've always wanted to be a fighter.
Sherdog.com: You spent a lot of time in boxing. What are some of those old-time memories?
Davis: One that just popped into my head: We were all in the gym one time, and there was this guy that was supposed to come in and spar with Dana Rosenblatt, who was an undefeated Jewish boxer at the time -- and there weren't a whole lot of Jewish boxers period, you know? So bringing this kid in, he was 5-0, and so they come walking in and he's got like this entourage and they’re screaming out, "Mikey D! 5-0 Mikey D!" All cheery as hell. The kid comes in and gets his stuff on. They start sparring. Dana hit him so hard with a body shot that the guy s--t himself.
There's just s--t pouring out of this guy's trunks. He ends up crawling out of the ring, and they rush him to the bathroom and he was so embarrassed, he didn't come back into the gym to get his stuff. He left right out of the side door, and they came in and gathered his stuff and they left. Never saw the kid again. I don't even know what ever happened with his career. I never followed him. I probably should have; it'd be funny to hear if he did any well at all.
You know, we had lots of different stories like that. A guy came in and was kicking a bag, and back then … you don't kick bags at a boxing school. My coach said, "Don't kick the bag!" The guy kind of looked at him -- he was a bodybuilder, the guy was all beefed up -- and he starts hitting the bag again, kicked it again and my trainer walked over to him and just smashed him right in the face. The guy actually broke down and started crying. Big muscle-bound guy broke down and started crying, looked at my coach and made an apology. We just have so many crazy stories about back then when I was boxing. It was just a different time. It was 15 years ago. You know the stories of scumbag promoters and stuff like that. There's good memories and bad memories.
Joe Son Arrested on 1990 Gang Rape Charge
Joseph Hyungmin Son -- better known as UFC veteran Joe Son to diehard MMA fans -- was arrested Oct. 7 in Huntington Beach, Calif., on charges related to a 1990 Christmas Eve gang rape. Son, who was already in custody for an unrelated vandalism charge, was linked to the 1990 crime when he gave a DNA sample to authorities following a probation violation. A second assailant tied to the 1990 crime is still at large.
TMZ.com and the Orange County Register were the first to report Son’s arrest.
Son has been charged with five felony counts of forcible rape, two felony counts of forcible sodomy, two felony counts of sodomy in concert by force, seven felony counts of forcible oral copulations, one felony count of sexual penetration by foreign object by force, and sentencing enhancements for kidnapping to commit sexual assault, personal use of a firearm, use of a firearm during a sex offense, and great bodily injury to sexual assault victim.
Say it ain't so, Joe!
UFC 89: VERA READY FOR 205 AND JARDINE
Vera On Cutting Weight:
--“Cutting that much weight and performing was the problem,” he explained. “I didn’t think it was gonna be, but I hadn’t cut weight in nine years.”
Vera On His Opponent, Keith Jardine:
--“He’s got great hands and a super awkward style,” Vera said. “An unorthodox, offbeat style; that’s a problem for almost every fighter. But it’s just something we’ve been working on in the game plan. Just making sure I execute the game plan that’s been set forth by my coaches.”
--“Nobody ever respected him or gave him the time of day until he started putting people to sleep,” Vera said. “I’m glad I didn’t do the same before I have to fight him. I just look at him as somebody that could knock me out. So I’ve got to be on my p’s and q’s.”
IN HIS OWN WORDS: Back surgery spurs Tito on
This was the biggest decision of my career… back surgery
Since the Randy Couture fight, I have had lower back problems. Each fight it got worse. I have made it though the last eight fights by physical therapy, methylprednisolone pills, and spinal injections for last three fights.
I fought injured time and time again for the fans. After the Rashad (Evans) fight, I told the fight doctor I was having excruciating back pain. It was so bad that my security had to carry me from the Octagon to my dressing room to the press conference and back.
This continued for the next four months. If anyone has had back pain, you know the pain I deal with. It got to be so bad that I was barely able to get up off the couch or drive for longer than 20 minutes.
Now try to imagine training for eight hours a day and having to fight formidable opponents like Rashad, and (Lyoto) Machida. From November of 2007 to May of 2008, I did two separate injections and worked my ass off in physical therapy so I was able to fight Machida.
During the second round of the fight I felt the same pain as I did in the Rashad fight. After the fight, I told the fight doctor I was having back pain. It never got better. I didn't want to fall into the terrible life of having to take painkillers in order to be capable of making it through training.
I simply refuse to fall into that trap. I started to look into other ways to help my back pain. I have done everything from rehab to injections to make it better and nothing has succeeded.