Monday, June 25, 2007

Mixed Martial Arts Legend, Randy The Natural Couture Back in The UFC 4

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Randy "The Natural" Couture is returning to the Octagon on March 3, 2007 to face heavyweight champion Tim "The Mainiac" Silvia in a battle for the UFC heavyweight belt. There are two questions on everybody's mind about this match up. First, does Randy have a chance? More importantly, is Randy risking his health?

I personally thought that Randy Couture got out of the MMA fight game just in time. He left with class after a second consecutive loss to Chuck Liddell in the UFC light heavyweight division. People respect Randy Couture, even more people like Randy Couture. Why on earth would he consider returning now?

Randy says he's returning because he misses the fight game, because he believes that he is a better fighter than when he last stepped into the Octagon on February 4th, 2006. I think that the real reason that Randy is returning is that he is likely disgusted by the lackluster performance of the UFC heavyweight division. I read that Randy is negotiating a multi fight contract with the UFC, this is a big mistake in my opinion. I believe that Randy might have the tools needed to defeat Tim Silvia, but there is no way I want to see Randy fight Mirko Cro Cop.

Randy, if you have any sense at all, get in there, finish Tim Silvia and retire again. You are an absolute phenom as an athlete and an inspiration to those of us in our forties, but everyone has their time and MMA isn't boxing. I've never seen you come into a fight in less than stellar condition and I've never seen you in a fight that wasn't worth watching, that is the Randy Couture I want to remember. I don't want to remember Randy Couture being knocked cold by a Mirko Cro Cop left high kick, then being taken out on a stretcher.

Enough of the pleas to have Randy cut this return short, let's take a look at how this fight breaks down.

Starting with the stand up abilities of both fighters. It is tempting to look at this and say that Tim Silvia's reach advantage and raw power will give him the edge in the stand up. True enough, but lets not forget that Randy has been in there with the likes of Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz and Vitor Belfor, all good to great stand up fighters in their own right. I put the stand up between Randy and Tim at dead even.

Moving on, lets talk about take downs. There is no way that Tim Silvia is going to take Randy Couture down, the only way Randy will end up on his back with Tim Silvia is if Tim knocks him down with a punch, then jumps on him. On the other hand, Randy's strong wrestling background will certainly give him the advantage in take downs.

What about submission wrestling, grappling, or overall ground game? I have to give Randy the advantage in this area as well, even though Tim Silvia did look good on the ground against Jeff Monson, but Randy Couture is not Jeff Monson.

In the area of conditioning, there isn't a better conditioned athlete on the planet than Randy Couture, one look at Tim Silvia's physique tells us that he doesn't spend the time in the gym that Randy does. Oh, I'm sure he's at the gym, eating chicken wings and watching other guys spar. Okay, the last line was just a joke, Tim certainly trains hard and he didn't gas against Jeff Monson. He also didn't finish Monson either when he should have been able to. I give Randy the edge in conditioning.

So there you have it, Tim Silvia is stronger, Randy is better. We'll see who comes out on top on March 3rd. My prediction, Randy Couture by decision.

Author John Murray

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