Is weight loss healthy for Couture?
During a recent four-fight heavyweight run, Randy Couture was outweighed by as much as 50 pounds on fight night. While it might seem wise to eliminate that excess and return to the light heavyweight arena, there’s always a price to be paid: in this case, he’ll be facing some considerably faster opponents who might be able to put punches together in the same time Tim Sylvia got off one.
Will Vera be intimidated by the Couture name?
Brandon Vera has made repeated mention of athletes like Chuck Liddell and Couture being role models for what can be accomplished in the sport; that kind of hero worship cost Georges St. Pierre his first fight against Matt Hughes. While Couture isn’t running as rampant as Hughes was at the time, he may still exist in Vera’s head as something other than a man. An idol is a hard thing to damage.
Will Swick and Hardy have to do more than win?
Georges St. Pierre looks good in a maid’s uniform: he’s cleaned out the entire welterweight division, leaving talent like Mike Swick and Dan Hardy -- capable but not awesome -- as legitimate title contenders. For fans to back that idea, one of them will have to do more than grind out a finish: they’ll have to do it with arterial spray.
Is Henderson still in Bisping’s head?
The boxing coach Freddie Roach has a telling explanation of the nature of knockouts “changing” fighters in Sam Sheridan’s new book, The Fighter’s Mind: in it, he describes the idea that a fighter who hasn’t been knocked out will take fight-finishing risks and plow ahead, not fretting over the consequences. If you haven’t been KOed, you don’t know you can be KOed. But a power outage like the one Dan Henderson delivered can bring you back down to reality. Michael Bisping now knows he’s human. That will affect his behavior.
Will peak audiences help the UFC’s anti-Fedor sentiment?
The fight business exists for bragging rights: if Couture’s fight with Vera draws more viewers on basic cable than Fedor Emelianenko’s bout with Brett Rogers did on CBS, we’ll hear about it -- repeatedly -- all week long.