January 11th, 2007  |  Published in old and busted

Randy Couture, Me, Al and Matt LindlandI’ll just put the last picture back up. Randy Couture’s coming out of retirement and fighting current UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia on March 3 at UFC 68. I’m hoping that means I’ll have recently shaken hands with the man who will rid us of Sylvia.

I haven’t done any UFC blogging outside our recent excursion to the video signing, so I’m just going to leap in:

Couture nailed it in his interview on Inside the UFC this evening: Sylvia doesn’t fight to win or reestablish his right to the title … he fights to not lose and to keep his belt, which he adores.

When he’s pressed on the issue, he insults fans who are bored with his caution by accusing them of being knuckleheads who just want to watch a slug match and claims the “real insiders” know what he’s up to. That is self-serving pap. I don’t even much care for the strike-heavy matches. They can be dramatic, and obviously striking tips the balance a lot, but I’m a much bigger fan of a clean and dramatic submission than a knockout or a TKO. I don’t want to see Sylvia get pummeled … I just want him to engage meaningfully. He’s a giant of a man and his caution … timidity even … look as outsized as the rest of him.

His fight with Andrei Arlovski was a snooze (though perhaps that was as much Arlovski’s fault as his), and his defense against Monson was more of the same: staying out of harm’s way, taking no risks, relying on the fact that he’s 6’8″ and can’t be touched unless he chooses to mix it up.

If Couture’s got some special formula to erase the height advantage and put him down, I’m all for it. In the meantime, I think it’s a mark of how poorly received Sylvia is, and maybe how weak the UFC heavyweight division is, that Couture’s getting a crack at him right off the bat. I’ve read contract disputes are keeping Brandon Vera from getting a title shot, though, so maybe this is more about last-minute card-shuffling than anything. Got me … I don’t follow it all that closely.

Also, Alison learned today that one of her coworkers is Chris Leben’s mom.



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