UFC 91 “Couture vs. Lesnar” Preview and Predictions

Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Couture

At 6’3 and 265 pounds of sculpted muscle, Brock Lesnar is living proof that giants still walk the Earth.

In what is shaping up to be the biggest fight in UFC history, the behemoth Lesnar will fight legendary heavyweight champion, Randy Couture.

Although Lesnar’s rise to number one contender has been fast, there is no denying his appeal or considerable talents. Never has the world of MMA seen such a physical specimen with as much athletic ability. While Lesnar’s career is in its infancy, Couture has been one of the ambassadors of the sport for over a decade.

If Lesnar stormed out of his corner, took Couture down immediately, and TKO’d him in the first round, it would not be a surprise. Lesnar is simply that explosive. He has the capabilities to be that dangerous.

The problem remains, though, that nobody knows what to expect. There is a major unknown factor with Lesnar based on his inexperience. The big man has never been hit with a big shot. He has never been dragged into deep waters. And, it’s simply unknown how he will respond to the pressure.

This is where Couture has the glaring advantage. He has fought the world’s best…and won. Couture has been involved in 5-round wars before…and won. Outweighed by over 20 pounds and his chances of winning considered minimal against Tim Sylvia and Gabriel Gonzaga, Couture still managed to prevail. The perennial underdog has made a career out of defying the odds. He has a wealth of experience that cannot be measure in tangible statistics. When he meets Lesnar, the world will discover just how valuable experience really is or is not.

All logic points to Lesnar wanting to end the fight quickly. The longer Lesnar allows Couture to get comfortable, the more dangerous he becomes. It will be essential for Couture to weather the early storm and not allow himself to be overwhelmed.

In all likelihood, Couture is going to utilize some dirty boxing. He’s going to close the distance, clinch with Lesnar, and attempt to pick him off with precise punches. Essentially, Couture will attempt to use the same strategy he did when he fought Gonzaga. Couture will also display sound techiques. By taking crafty angles, using constant head movement, and feinting jabs and kicks, Couture will try and keep Lesnar guessing.

The question remains: can a more technical and experienced fighter overcome one who is far more physically gifted? This writer believes it’s possible despite it’s unlikelihood. Lesnar has man handled his previous opponents, stunning them early on in the fight. If Lesnar does so against Couture, he will not recover. But, if Couture can execute a calculated strategic game plan, he may pull off the upset.

Many pundits have dismissed Lesar as a deserving contender. In truth, Lesnar has not earned a title shot. His domination of Heath Herring does not warrant a fight of this magnitude. But, his popularity cannot be ignored and the UFC wants the biggest fights possible. The fight is more of a spectacle than a championship bout. It’s about old school versus the new, David versus Goliath, and the allure of Couture pulling off yet another unthinkable upset.

The fight is expected to be the UFC’s biggest of all-time. While Lesnar has the overall advantages, Couture can never be counted out. The wily veteran may still have one trick up his sleeve. Couture will welcome Lesnar to the big leagues with a timeless performance that forever cements his legacy.

Prediction: Randy Couture by Decision

Kenny Florian vs. Joe Stevenson

Years ago, who would have ever believed Kenny Florian would be mentioned amongst the world’s best lightweights?

But, the scrawny, unassuming, scrappy Boston kid from the first Ultimate Fighter has truly become an elite fighter over time.

Florian is a throwback fighter; he is old school. The guy only wants to fight the best. His training regiment is intense. He tries to finish his opponents. His attitude is always respectful. Winning the title is important, but testing himself against the elite comes first.

At UFC 91, Florian will have his opportunity when he faces another upper echelon fighter in Joe Stevenson. Both fighters have hovered around the top of the division. A win would solidify both as top contenders.

Powerful wrestlers have always been problematic for the undersized Florian. Sean Sherk and Diego Sanchez took him down with ease. Stevenson has a similar pedigree and may attempt to implement the same strategy.

While Stevenson has the wrestling edge, Florian is far more versatile. Stevenson is rather one dimensional, where as, Florian does everything well. Additionally, Florian is a cerebral fighter who always comes prepared with an effective strategy.

Fans who find blood disconcerting may want to forego this one. These guys are going to bust each other up and elbows are going to fly. Stevenson has the propensity to get cut and it could very well happen in this fight. Florian may be put on his back, but he’s going to outwork Stevenson.

Kenflo will use his jab to set up combos. His elbows will also find their mark off his back. While this fight will be close, Florian will win a workman’s like decision by displaying an array of mixed martial arts skills.

Prediction: Kenny Florian by Decision

Demian Maia versus Nate Quarry

The Brazillian jiu jitsu wizard, Maia, is no longer the division’s sleeper. Instead, he is being touted as a legitimate contender who is quickly climbing the middleweight ladder. His fight against Quarry will provide him an opportunity to live up to the hype.

It’s an important fight for Maia. Quarry will be the first opponent he has fought who contains knockout power and lethal striking. If Maia is unable to take Quarry down, he will be forced to divulge how evolved his striking has become.

In previous bouts, Maia demonstrated a mastery of ground tactics submitting opponents with ease (although Jason McDonald impressed with his resiliency). His ground game is so smooth that Maia is constantly looking for a submission finish.

Quarry is best remembered for being the victim of a ruthless KO courtesy of Rich Franklin. Despite that, Quarry is a solid fighter. He has a tough chin, sharp jab, decent wrestling moves and solid physical strength. His movement is slow and plodding though, so he may be overmatched by a Maia’s quickness. This match should be interesting stylistically, but it shouldn’t last long.

Prediction: Maia by submission, round 1

Comments

  1. while i hope the two main events aren't decisions i like the florian prediction. but i think that brock is going to come out anxious and either catch randy and finish or randy is going to put him in a bad situation and finish.

  2. Everyones buying into Lesnar hype a little too early. He has all the physical advantages but Randy has the advantage in MMA knowledge. As long as he doesn't get caught by a big right hand I think Randy takes this one, by decision. Decision because look at Lesnars neck, try knocking that guy out. I think Gonzaga was a bigger challenge for Randy than Lesnar.

  3. I disagree with the Stevenson/Florian predicition. It sounds like he is implying that Stevenson will come in with his hands down and never throw a punch. I agree completely about Lesnar/Couture. Both of those men will look amazing at the end of this fight, no doubt. All I have to say is when he fought Sylvia, he never looked in danger. Granted, I don't think Sylvia is that good, or at all comparable to Lesnar, but Kickboxing is Sylvia's game. Solely. Randy beat him at his game, when it was expected that he wouldn't, and here you have the same situation. I just think he will find a way to prevail. Lesnar is still young in the sport.

  4. More importantly though, is that a tramp stamp on Lesnar?

  5. LOL…funny…we will have to wait and see and i disagree as i dont think Randy will be able to overcome and neutralize lesnar and keep him controlled…that is the key to Randy controlling lesnar and i just dont think its possible i cant see randy clinching lesnar as he did with Sylvia and taking him down at will…lesnar is too big and strong and down right just a younger bigger faster Randy technically speaking of course…very similiar fighters but at the same time very far from..the key thing i believe is Randy controlling lesnar and to me thats not possible.. it wouldnt surprise me thought if somehow Randy pulls out a win but if it goes to decision either way who wins i will be pissed as i want to see Lesnar KO TKO or Sumbit him or vice versa as that makes a real big statement not that a convising decision victory doesnt but you know what i mean. Lesnar in my honest opinion will be the champ by tonights end unless a miracle happens or he loses a split decision but i just dont see it going that far..Lesnar by TKO 2nd round.

  6. Tim you gettn a little nervous buddy? haha Man i can barely f*n wait till this fight goes down!

  7. Leasar will get schooled tonight.

    He will be champ, just not tonight.

    Onec the fight goes into the trenches Couture's experience and ability to fight effectively when faced with some adversity will prevail.

    How will Brock do if he's cut, hurt, or tired?

    Those questions may be answered tonight.

  8. Did you guys see the weighins. I don't know how much more Couture can impress me but if he beats that monster that would make his legacy even better. I'm going for Couture all the way in this one.

  9. Impressive??? who the fuck where you looking at? Randy looks the same to me…if anything Lesnar looks the most impressive. Nervous NO excited Hell yes win or lose this should be a great fight for both men but lesnar is clearly in a win win scenario as he is still new to the game a babty you might even say and to lose to a MMA legend and not just any but Randy is not something to be ashamed of or even looked down upon for it because he is simply new to this game but if he beats Randy…then Randy's legacy is very much in question as far as overcoming such a new comer and will always be regarded as the man that lesnar beat in only his 3 UFC fight and 5th overall for the HWGHT title that is something that is hard to deal with. You all can go for Couture all you want but when its said and done do not be surprised if Lesnar is the champ tonight… the outcome of this fight is clearly in his hands not Randy's the only way Randy wins if he can sqeeze out a decision or if Lesnar makes another rookie mistake which could happen otherwise i just dont see how Randy can match and control this powerhouse as Randy can have all the big men i nthe world training with him but when it comes down to it there simply NOT Lesnar but Lesnar has brought in people who have actually wrestled and trained with Randy not to mention the numerous matches he has watched on the guy…Prediction Lesnar comes in with a killer game plan that Randy can not match..Randy needs to stay Moving in this fight dodging and changing directions but if lesnar stays calm and collected which he has proven he can this fight is over i hate to say it but it will be…if lesnar is calm and does not overreact he wins hands down but if Randy can frustrate him things can change but all i know is that i cant wait….

  10. All in all i just hope the fight doesnt end in Decision win or lose this will be a great test for both fighters but i still think Lesnar wins tonight…

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