(Mickey Rourke prepares for his next role.)
The Natural and Minotauro — two legendary heavyweight champions whose last performances had fans wondering if their days of competing at the sport’s highest level were over. But later this year, one of them will triumph once again. MMA Weekly breaks it:
At 45 years of age, Randy Couture’s shelf life as a pro fighter has become extremely limited. But to me, his loss to Brock Lesnar last November only proved that he shouldn’t be in the cage with guys who are 50 pounds bigger than him. And as much as Couture vs. Nogueira is a fan’s dream-match, it’s too bad that Couture still insists on competing as a heavyweight, where he’s now at a size disadvantage against everyone else in the division.
As for Nogueira, he looked much older than his 32 years during his loss to Frank Mir in December, where he was completely outboxed and had nothing to offer offensively; the noticeable decline in Big Nog’s reaction time stood as a very bad omen for his future fights. Both Nogueira and Couture are talented enough to rebound strongly from their last losses, but the guy who loses this one might be taking a big step towards retirement. Randy may not be interested in competing as a middle-of-the-card fighter, and if Nogueira no longer has his famous durability to rely on, he’ll be a sitting duck against younger, more energetic heavyweights.
But hey, let’s not get too gloomy just yet. This is the fight that should have happened a year ago, when Randy was estranged from the UFC. Better late than never, right?