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Sunday, February 7, 2010

UFC 109 Results ! Watch the intro fight ! Randy Couture vs Mark C.

Fighters with more than two decades of experience in two different sports collided Saturday night in the first-ever battle of UFC Hall of Famers as Randy Couture scored just the third submission victory of his storied career in stopping Mark Coleman.
The main event of UFC 109, which took place before a sellout crowd of 10,687 fans at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, pitted two guys who started as national champions in amateur wrestling and later became heavyweight champions in mixed martial arts.
The 46-year-old Couture (18-10) was the heavy favorite and he appeared quicker standing, employing his usual strategy of using a Greco-Roman wrestling-style clinch against the cage, his best position, to tire out Coleman (16-10) and throw punches.
Couture used mostly uppercuts in winning the first round. Coleman was unable to take Couture down or really get any strong offense going, and Couture was happy to keep Coleman in a clinch for most of the round.
The match ended at 1:09 of the second round, as Couture got Coleman again in the clinch and was able to fire punches before taking Coleman down – a position that Coleman said before the fight he needed to avoid.
Couture threw more punches on the ground, forcing Coleman to turn his back, and from there he seized the choke in a fight that had to be almost a blueprint of what he was hoping would happen.
Through both luck and sound training, Couture preserved far more of his athletic ability than is logical to expect from someone of his age. Coleman, on the other hand, looked his age, not maintaining the speed or power that made him one of the great MMA fighters of the 1990s.
Couture took little punishment and was never in trouble, as Coleman is not the same striker as his last two opponents, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Brandon Vera, who both knocked Couture down.
“I enjoy what I’m doing,” Couture said. “I’m the best fighter I’ve ever been. I have benchmarks in training and I hit them.”
In one respect, though, the game plan was different for Couture, showing respect for Coleman’s freestyle wrestling game.
“Usually I like to move forward, but with Mark, it would have opened me up for a takedown,” said Couture. “I went to make him come forward and come after me.”
“He’s a great fighter, one of the best of all-time,” Coleman said after the loss. “He beat me to the punch. I was a little slow tonight.”
There were a lot of themes going into the match. It was Greco-Roman vs. freestyle in wrestling, as Couture was a four-time national champion in Greco, just never during an Olympic year. Coleman was a freestyle wrestler who won a college national championship at Ohio State (Couture’s best finish in the NCAAs was second) and made an Olympic team (1992). At his peak in 1991, he was second in the world championships.
Coleman defeated Couture in a freestyle match in 1989, the only time the two had ever met, but he said that didn’t play a part in his motivation, noting that it was a long time ago and in a different sport – and it wasn’t a match he’d thought about a long time.
In fact, Couture has helped Coleman, inviting him to his gym in Las Vegas last year to train with a wider variety of training partners and coaches than he ever had in his career leading up to Coleman’s July 11 win over Stephan Bonnar. Coleman did have to find a new gym, the Tapout gym, to train for this fight, but he did train with Shawn Tompkins, who was one of Couture’s coaches in the past.
“We both come from the wrestling background,” said Couture . “On paper, he was a little better than I was. He was a national college champion, which I tried to be and never was. He went to the Olympics, which I tried and never could do. Fighting him wasn’t an issue. In wrestling, we often have to fight our best friends to make an Olympic team.”
Couture also noted that Coleman using his former striking coach was nothing that upset him, and that in a roundabout way, he owes some of his success to Coleman.
“He was one of my inspirations to get into this,” said Couture, who followed Coleman from the elite level of wrestling into the UFC. “I watched him take people down and ground-and-pound them.”
The win opens up all kinds of possibilities for Couture, who behind the scenes has had three of the UFC’s five champions – Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machida and Brock Lesnar – showing interest in fighting him. Couture, probably one of the three most popular fighters in UFC history, brings marquee name value to any championship fight, both due to his enduring popularity and because the story of the aging warrior going for a record sixth championship is easy to market.
Plus, for fighters who are paid based on how well pay-per-view events draw, he would be the biggest money fight possible for Silva and Machida, and the second biggest, behind Frank Mir, for Lesnar.
Of the three, the Silva fight makes no sense because it would have to be at light heavyweight and thus wouldn’t be for the championship. The light heavyweight champion, Machida, or possibly Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, who faces Machida on May 8 in Montreal, makes the most sense, since Couture has scored two straight wins in that division.
A possible fight with Lesnar brings with it the most financial sense, but it’s harder to justify since Couture lost his last heavyweight fight to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.
Couture said he’s happier to stay at light heavyweight, but he also said that if he’s asked to face Lesnar in a rematch of their 2008 fight, he would most likely not turn it down.
“I like being at light heavyweight,” said Couture, who walks around at 217 pounds and had what he considers an easy weight cut – 55 minutes in the sauna on Friday – to sweat out eight pounds and make 205. “The camp is better going against guys my size. The heavyweights are good and it’s hard when giving up 30 pounds.
“I’ll fight whoever they ask me to fight. I think I was doing pretty well against Lesnar,” said Couture, who gave up close to 60 pounds on the day of the fight in their initial meeting, where Lesnar captured the heavyweight title. “If they ask me to take the fight, I’ll most likely say yes.”
Coleman is in a tough position. He may not have needed a win, but for him to remain in the mix with the top guys, he needed an impressive performance. His conditioning was improved from most of his recent fights, but he didn’t really show any new tricks. He was admittedly slow – in a sport where he can’t get away with that, particularly when he’s no longer fighting as a heavyweight.
Perhaps a small door opened for him after the fight. While he was doing an interview with Joe Rogan, Tito Ortiz walked past him at ringside and said, “Payback’s a [expletive],” and followed with another expletive, apparently mad at something Coleman, or someone in Coleman’s camp, said about his girlfriend, Jenna Jameson. Or perhaps because Coleman was his scheduled opponent on Nov. 21 but had to pull out due to injury. Ortiz lost his UFC return to Forrest Griffin instead.
Coleman fired back in kind as a response.
“Tito’s fighting Chuck [Liddell] next,” said Dana White, referring to a match scheduled for the summer while not wanting to touch on the possibility of an Ortiz-Coleman match. “That’s just Tito.” 
Competing in the second bout of a new seven-fight deal with the UFC, five-time champion Randy Couture picked up the biggest check at Saturday's "UFC 109: Relentless" event for his winning effort against Mark Coleman.

Couture made an event-high $250,000 in disclosed pay (with no win bonus) to lead UFC 109's official fighter payroll of $944,000. ( recently requested and received the list of disclosed salaries from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

UFC 109 took place Feb. 6 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and aired on Spike TV (two preliminary-card fights) and then pay-per-view (main card).

In addition to Couture, other top earners from the card included Matt Serra ($150,000), Chael Sonnen ($64,000), Demian Maia ($62,000) and Coleman ($60,000).

The full payouts included:

Randy Couture: $250,000 (no win bonus)
def. Mark Coleman: $60,000

Chael Sonnen: $64,000 (includes $32,000 win bonus)
def. Nate Marquardt: $45,000

Paulo Thiago: $30,000 ($15,000 win bonus)
def. Mike Swick: $43,000

Demian Maia: $62,000 ($31,000 win bonus)
def. Dan Miller: $15,000

Matt Serra: $150,000 ($75,000 win bonus)
def. Frank Trigg: $30,000

Mac Danzig: $40,000 ($20,000 win bonus)
def. Justin Buchholz: $8,000

Melvin Guillard: $28,000 ($14,000 win bonus)
def. Ronys Torres: $4,000

Rob Emerson: $24,000 ($12,000 win bonus)
def. Phillipe Nover: $10,000

Phil Davis: $10,000 ($5,000 win bonus)
def. Brian Stann: $17,000

Chris Tuchscherer: $20,000 ($10,000 win bonus)
def. Tim Hague: $7000

Joey Beltran: $12,000 ($6,000 win bonus)
def. Rolles Gracie: $15,000

Now, the usual disclaimer: The figures do not include deductions for items such as insurance, licenses and taxes. Additionally, the figures do not include money paid by sponsors, which can oftentimes be a substantial portion of a fighter's income. They also do not include any other "locker room" or special bonuses the UFC oftentimes pays.

For example, as discussed above, the figures above do not include the UFC's traditional "fight night" bonuses. The UFC 109 bonuses were worth $60,000 and awarded to Serra (Knockout of the Night), Thiago (Submission of the Night), and Chael Sonnen and Nate Marquardt (Fight of the Night).

In other words, the above salary figures are simply base salaries reported to the commission and do not reflect entire compensation packages for the event.

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