UFC 105 Preview: The Main Card

Preview

Nov 11, 2009
Mixed martial arts on free television serves as the universal dinner bell for anyone who enjoys well-regulated violence, and this Saturday on Spike TV, UFC 105 “Couture vs. Vera” hits the Manchester Evening News Arena in Manchester, England. With a main event starring UFC legend Randy Couture and the uber-talented Brandon Vera, fans have the only reason they need to park themselves in front of the biggest television they can find when the bell rings.

Throw in a welterweight title eliminator, the formal debuts of “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 9 winners and the return of England’s favorite fighting son, Michael Bisping, and the top-tier fireworks are booked.

Randy Couture vs. Brandon Vera

The Breakdown: Welcome to time warp mode, as Couture looks to replicate the success of his 2003 cut down to light heavyweight, which included two title reigns. Couture’s quarry, Vera, simply wants to reclaim his blue-chip status by capping off his 2009 campaign with what would be a career-changing win.

The fight essentially comes down to Vera’s ability to use his reach and wrestling to force Couture out of his usual ground-and-pound mode. Simply put, Couture cannot keep up with Vera on the feet, and his usual dirty boxing strategy seems fraught with danger, considering Vera’s unique combination of wrestling and muay Thai.

Couture has the advantage in experience and fight IQ, both of which have given Vera problems in the past, since he seems to rely more on talent than strategy to win. Everyone knows Couture will step into the cage with a sound strategy; whether his body will be as sharp as his mind remains a question that should be on everyone’s mind.

Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Youth is on Vera's (pictured) side.
The X-Factor: Courage under fire has proven a rare intangible inside the cage, and if past history is any indicator, Vera is not the guy you want in a foxhole with you. Time and time again, Vera’s well-hyped talent has been overshadowed by his inability to work through the inevitable difficulties that come with fighting angry men for a living.

Barring some absurdly easy knockout, Vera will be put to the test, and the professor will be a man who has broken many a will before. For better or worse, the MMA world will find out exactly what Vera has underneath all that bravado.

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The Bottom Line: A litany of practical reasons why Vera will win this fight exist, and none are more compelling than Couture being 46 years old. With that said, Couture’s entire career has been built on defying the odds, and Vera is notorious for his high-stakes failures. Take old man Couture in a three-round decision that will lead to a fresh round of hyperbole from Joe Rogan.
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