(Chael Sonnen explains that it’s the Ultimate *Fighting* Championship, not the Ultimate Mitt-Hitting, High-Altitude Training, Flipping a Tire Around, Screaming the Word "Yes" Championship. Props: MMA Fighting)
Following an expectation-exceeding night of action at UFC 109, the UFC handed out $60,000 pay-bumps to the following competitors:
Fight of the Night: Chael Sonnen and Nate Marquardt, for their bloody 15-minute grind, in which Sonnen survived a nasty choke attempt in the third round to secure the decision victory and earn a middleweight title shot.
Knockout of the Night:Matt Serra, for beating down Frank Trigg and proving that his hands are always dangerous, even if they’re on the end of very short arms.
Submission of the Night: Paulo Thiago, for putting Mike Swick to sleep with a D’Arce choke after knocking him to the mat in the second round of their fight. Thiago: 2, AKA: 1.
(Couture vs. Coleman hype video by Genghis Con. Respect your elders, son.)
ATTENTION, POTATO NATION: It’s Friday afternoon, which means there’s still time to join MMA FightPicker and submit your predictions for tomorrow night’s UFC 109 card. For the thousands of players who have already signed up, we thank you, and we want you to know that we’ll be battling alongside you. In fact, BF and BG have both joined "Palooka Pool 30 #173" in an effort to determine a house champion. (Ed. note: The loser of this challenge will have to get a tattoo on his ass that says "Ben owns this. Not me, the other Ben.") So please join a FightPicker pool if you haven’t already, then take a look at how we’re answering the questions this week…
1. Randy Couture vs. Mark Coleman at UFC 109: Who will win? BF: Randy Couture. If Couture can only beat one type of fighter on the UFC roster, it’s the type that Coleman happens to be: old, a little bit slow, and too dependent on his wrestling ability. BG: Randy Couture. Couture is the master of the gameplan. Coleman drives around Vegas for two days with his low-fuel light on because he’s always late to practice, and runs out of gas on the 215 even though he "put that little extra in there" to begin with. Difference in mental preparation, is what I’m saying.
2. Randy Couture vs. Mark Coleman: Who will score the first takedown? BF: Randy Couture. This is a little tougher to call, because sometimes the first takedown is determined in part by who’s gunning for takedowns right out of the gate, which should be Coleman. I still think Couture can stifle him until he’s ready to work for something out of the clinch, maybe early in the second round. BG: Randy Couture. Ditto to all that. You might see these two guys try to prove a point by slugging for a couple rounds, but the Natural will eventually put Coleman on his back from the clinch.
(This can mean only one of two things: either the UFC is putting on a main event between two MMA dinosaurs, or it’s ‘makeover your dad’ week on "The Ellen Degeneres Show." Photo courtesy of Combat Lifesyle’s presser gallery.)
So who’s going to win the old-timer’s main event bout at UFC 109? Which undercard fighter is most likely to join the ranks of the unemployed after this weekend? Why is my Toyota making that weird sound? At least two of these important questions will be answered in this installment of Ben vs. Ben. Read on to find out which remains a mystery.
There’s some crazy talk that the winner of Randy Couture-Mark Coleman could be in the running for a title shot. Do you have any interest in seeing that? If not, what would you recommend as a next step for the winner and the loser?
BF: If by “in the running,” you mean well behind the winner of Rampage Jackson-Rashad Evans and somewhere just in front of the winner of Tito Ortiz-Chuck Liddell, then sure. In other words, the elderly survivor here is not completely out of the picture. At least not until he is forced to win at least one more fight, at which point he’ll be knocked right out of the picture once again.
Now that we’ve relaunched our t-shirt giveaways, it’s like a hot load of reeking chum has been tossed into the water with you blood-crazed commenting-sharks. Y’all brought it hard this week, until we really didn’t want it anymore, and we were just waiting for you to finish so we could get some sleep. (So to speak.) Moving on…
If your name has been called, please e-mail email@example.com with your real name, address, and shirt size, and we’ll get a CagePotato Devil Horns shirt out to you soon. (Disclaimer: CagePotato.com’s definition of "soon" may be very different from your own.)
– The way Coleman describes a car accident in which he skidded through the intersection and went up on "the medium."
– That he says he’s been living in the Palace Station of late and dreads leaving because of all the stuff he has to pack up, making him the first person in history to put off a move from the Palace Station to the Manadalay Bay.
– That when Coleman finishes telling his story about running out of gas on the 215 freeway and Cofield asks if he’s ever had something similar happen before he responds, "Well, hell yeah."
(For those of you who hate reading, watch me, Steve Cofield, and Dave Farra run through our betting picks for Raw Vegas.)
The UFC’s Seniors Tour kicks into high gear this weekend with the Randy Couture-Mark Coleman main event at UFC 109, which means the gamblers among us have even more variables to take into account than usual. We may not have to worry about Octagon jitters from these guys, but we do have to ask ourselves other important questions, like whose joints are more viable these days? Who starts more sentences with, ‘Back in my day…’? Who will reek worse of Icy Hot at fight time? Perhaps most importantly, who needs that win bonus more?
We’ve been waiting for the UFC to tell us what the importance of the Randy Couture-Mark Coleman main event at UFC 109 really is. Finally, the wait is over. To the untrained eye it might just look like two MMA dinosaurs going at it because neither of them has anything better to do, but that’s far too simplistic. Really, this fight is happening now because it didn’t happen back when both guys had hair and you could still become a UFC champ by beating up fat dudes who wore shirts into the Octagon. But beyond that, Dana White explains that Couture wants to win because he’s a competitor and winning is better than losing, as a rule, but "as far as livelihood and career, Mark Coleman needs this win a lot worse than Randy Couture does."
Translation? Couture has a little money saved, as well as some other sources of income, but Coleman is broke as a joke and needs this paycheck bad. Cue the close-up of Coleman looking old and haggard, juxtapose it with clips from his dominant, extremely well-muscled youth, and then close with DW suggesting that Coleman’s fourteen-year career has all been preamble to this fight, intoning, "if he can go in there and beat Randy Couture, wow, holy [expletive], Mark Coleman’s back."
And scene. That’s how you cut a promo, people. And, just in case you’re curious, this is how you deal with a frustrating loss…
(No Don, there is not going to be free tequila at this film festival. And no, we are not shitting you about that.)
There are two types of old school MMA legends: the ones who will gladly tell you how much better the sport and its athletes are now than they were ten years ago, and the ones who will insist that the fighters of today are all a bunch of gutless pussies. Don Frye is in the latter camp. He frequently says that he doesn’t watch the UFC or even follow the sport in general with much interest, and yet he also seems certain that the kids these days are a bunch of punks who spend more time styling their hair than beating people up. It’s sort of like how your grandfather can manage to hate gays and people of other ethnicities despite not personally knowing anyone from either demographic. Some gifts just come with age.
"This might be the first UFC I buy and actually watch in about 10 years, you know?" Frye said. "These two guys, it’s going to be one hell of a barnburner. They’re going to show these new guys how to fight."
The UFC sent out an email today announcing the ticket pre-sale for UFC 109 in February. Maybe it’s just a lighting issue, but this poster really drives home the geriatric nature of the fight card. Between Randy Couture and Mark Coleman, you’ve got 90 years worth of life experience in one event. God forbid anyone gets them talking about how much things used to cost when they were kids, or what the best episode of "Matlock" was — they may never actually get around to fighting. Instead they’ll both just nod off in front of Fox News and then wake up briefly confused about which grandchild you are.
But while we have to wait for UFC 109 to finally tell us which aging legend still has more steam left in him, there’s at least one point of contention we can settle right now.
Cro Cop‘s head kicks. The Gracie Train. The double-knockout. The Randleplex. The flying inverse triangle choke. Severn‘s suplexes. Inoki’s slaps. Coleman‘s daughters. The entrance. The face-off. The blood. The towel. The destroyed limbs. The shaving gel endorsement. The agony and the ecstasy. The subtitle of this film is "MMA Is Just a Sport." We know better than that. Two more GY PRODUCTION films are after the jump. Happy Monday.