UFC 105 Couture vs Vera was free on Spike on Saturday. I think that when the UFC is in Europe, few people order it in North America; you can get the results on the internet within seconds of the fight, so why pay big bucks to see it?
The only fight that I want to comment on is the co-main event between Couture and Vera. Before that, though, I find it surprising that Bisping‘s bout against Denis Kang was not the other co-main event. Instead it was the match between Mike Swick and Dan Hardy. Granted, that was a very good fight, but I thought that Bisping was an MMA demi-god in the U.K. and thought of highly by the UFC despite his most recent loss.
Perhaps my having watched so many boring heavyweight matches recently in The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10 has clouded my view of fights, but Couture versus Vera bordered on sleep-making. It wasn’t Brandon Vera’s fault. It was all Couture’s. In order to stop Vera’s assaults, Couture squashed him against the cage time and time again. He managed to take Vera down in round 1, but Vera climbed up the fence almost immediately, just to be squashed again. The referee separated them several times during the bout as nothing was happening.
Mike Goldberg suggested that Couture’s rushing Vera and holding him at the fence was his wrestling background coming out. The wrestling I’ve seen has been on the ground, without a fence to aid you.
Vera tried knees and strikes when in the clinch as did Couture. Couture attempted take downs again in rounds 2 and 3. After one of the referee separations, Vera kicked Couture in the ribs twice which looked extremely painful. To avoid further damage, Couture did the clinch at the fence again.
Vera got his own take down in round 3 and had full mount, but Couture used the fence to climb up. The fight ended with nice exchanges. Unanimous decision in favour of Couture.
When Couture was interviewed post-fight, he said something about the fight not being too exciting. That really was an understatement. His technique made the fight deadly boring. It reminded me of a Bodog Fight from several years ago in which one guy held the other at the corner posts for the entire match. Couture expended all his energy on holding Vera against the fence. Where were all his ground techniques? Where were his stand up techniques? As much as I like watching MMA, this was not my idea of fun. Couture won because he controlled the fight by holding Vera in place.
November 16, 2009