Thursday, November 19, 2009

Couture vs. Coleman Tentatively Set For UFC 109

In what would be the first UFC match ever staged between two members of the Hall-of-Fame, Randy "The Natural" Couture (17-10) has been tentatively scheduled to fight Mark "The Hammer" Coleman (16-9) at UFC 109 (Feb. 6th, 2010).

This fight would also feature the highest ever combined age of two fighters inside the octagon at roughly 91.5 years. Besides the obvious old-man jokes that can and will be made, this fight doesn't make a lot of sense from a rankings standpoint. Sure, both fighters are coming of wins, but Couture's victory over Brandon Vera (11-4) should have put him higher on the ladder than a victory over Stephan Bonnar (11-6) put Coleman. That said, I understand the rationale behind this fight. Randy's days as a draw are numbered and the UFC wants to get as many of their five remaining contracted fights out of him as they can. That explains both why this will be Couture's third fight in just over five months and why he's been given what appears on paper to be a very beatable opponent in Coleman. As will be the case for the duration of this contract: if Randy wins then the retirement tour will continue at a frenzied pace, but, if he loses, his victory lap could be cut short. So the UFC figures there's built-in drama no matter who the opponent is. One drawback to this match up is that a victory over Coleman wouldn't be enough to justify giving Randy a title shot, which is something the UFC is almost certainly angling for.

That said, "The Hammer" didn't make it into the UFC's Hall of Fame for nothing and, given the fact that their wrestling backgrounds should cancel each other out, this fight does have the potential to be a drag-'em-out slugfest. It's also comforting to know that this fight isn't being targeted as a main event-- UFC 109 is set to be headlined by a middleweight title fight between Anderson Silva (25-4) and Vitor Belfort (19-8).

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