|04-11-2004, 01:51 PM||#1|
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Couture and Belfort at UFC 49??
It appears Randy Couture will get his rematch with Vitor Belfort in August.
"He's agreed to the fight, at least verbally," says Couture, the Ultimate Fighting Championship star who lives and trains in the Portland area. "But a friend of mine ran into him on the boardwalk in Atlantic City (N.J.) of all places, and he wasn't training or doing anything. He was lamenting having to fight me."
Belfort won the UFC light heavyweight title in January in Las Vegas with a left hook that grazed Couture's left eye, leading to a cut eyelid and scratched cornea. Officials stopped the bout after 48 seconds. The -40-year-old Couture couldn't -believe his misfortune.
Couture recently returned from Las Vegas, where he trained with fighters and did some guest commentating for the April 2 UFC card at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. He watched as Chuck Liddell whipped Tito Ortiz, stopping him with a technical knockout in the second round in a battle of light heavyweights. Couture beat both last year to become the then-undisputed champion.
The tentative plan, Couture says, has him and Belfort fighting for the title in August or early September as part of UFC 49 in Las Vegas. The winner would fight Liddell.
Originally, Couture thought he would compete in UFC 48 on June 19, but the UFC does not like to stage two premier bouts on the same card. Ken Shamrock, one of the all-time greats who had a stint in pro wrestling, returns to fight Kimo on the June card, among three good matches.
"I'm all right with that," says Couture, who has a three-fight contract with UFC. "I prefer not to wait, but it's not too far ahead." Couture beat kickboxing star Liddell last year by "never letting him control the tempo of the fight."
Last week, Liddell "made technical adjustments and pushed the fight to Ortiz."
"Tito let him control the tempo, find his range and start scoring. Once (Liddell) hurt him, he unleashed a barrage of punches, about 15 or 16 in a row."
Ultimate Fighting combines boxing, wrestling and martial arts. Couture, who trains in Gresham and lives in Damascus, is a three-time champion and one of the sport's very best.
But he has also branched out, promoting local mixed martial arts (MMA) bouts with partner and fellow UFC fighter Matt Lindland. Their next event, "Sportfight: The Ultimate Evolution of One on One Combat," will be held April 17 in the domed sports arena at Mt. Hood Community College. It'll include an intercontinental light heavyweight championship event.
"We're trying to continually upgrade the cards," Couture says. "If we want to put butts in the seats, we have to have good cards." Couture wants to see the events on television at some point, and he wants to stage events in other regions. "The real movement is at the grass-roots level," he says. The events need to start making money that can go into the purses, he adds.
Meanwhile, Couture has completed filming "No Rules," a fight movie due for release in June, possibly on HBO. He plays a bad guy who kills the father of the main character, who then seeks revenge against Couture.
"It's 'Karate Kid' goes MMA," he says. "But it's got a gritty, underground feel to it. We fight bare knuckles."
Contact Jason Vondersmith at jvondersmith at portlandtribune.com
|04-12-2004, 03:30 PM||#3|
Join Date: Dec 2002
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I don't what the deal is with Vitor. I think in his mind, he believes he won that fight convincingly and there's no need for a rematch. Maybe he's got other plans, like going over to Japan to fight Vanderlei.
|04-12-2004, 03:50 PM||#4|
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I think he remembers getting his ass handed to him the first time he met Randy, knows he got lucky last time(Randy already had Vitor in a clinch when they stopped the fight last time and he would have taken him down) and is afraid of losing if he faces Randy again.
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