18 Aug 2009 10:36:08 AM
At UFC 102 in Portland on August 29, former UFC champ Randy Couture takes on Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in a battle between two of the sport’s most venerable veterans. It’s a fight to see who still has the chops to compete in the UFC’s heavyweight class, though Couture insists he isn’t looking at it that way. In this interview “The Natural” talks about his preparation for Big Nog, how Brock Lesnar may have set MMA back a few years, and where he sees himself after this fight is in the books.
Thanks for talking with me, Randy. How has your training been going for this fight, and what are you focusing on to help you beat a guy like Nogueira?
It’s going really well. Training’s been great. I’ve been working a lot on my jiu-jitsu. I think that’s going to be a critical tool to have sharp for Nogueira. I’ve been working on my boxing and kickboxing, and I think that’s going to play a key role in this fight because of my wrestling background. As always I’m working a lot on strength and conditioning as well with Jake, our strength coach, and I’m feeling great. I feel a peak coming.
The last time we saw Nogueira he looked like he just wasn’t himself. Are you expecting to face the old Nogueira that we saw in Pride, or do you think that was a sign that he may be on the downward slope of his career?