What now of Couture? The ageless wonder has won three straight fights in the Octagon and promotional president Dana White has confirmed he will send him back to the 205-pound division, where his drawing power is most needed. Some MMA writers seem convinced that the UFC is intent on Couture making "one last run at the title," and indeed this seems like an intriguing and financially lucrative possibility.
Only question is, does "The Natural" have it in him? For my money -- and believe me this hurts to admit - the cruel reality is no, he probably doesn't.
Keep in mind that the last time Couture fought a legitimate top 205-contender it was 2006 and he lost via second-round knockout to Chuck Liddell. Since then he's competed mostly at heavyweight while compiling a respectable 5-2 record. But Couture's last three wins have come against Toney, the 45-year-old Mark Coleman and perennial underachiever Brandon Vera; not exactly top competition.
You can't take anything away from Couture's accomplishments, the guys is unquestionably one of the greatest ever to strap on fingerless gloves. But to imagine that at this late stage in his career he could make any kind of sustained run through the current upper echelon of the light heavyweight division seems overly optimistic.
It's a good bet Couture could clean up a couple more wins against guys like Rich Franklin or Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, but then what? The UFC might be able to squeeze a couple of big money fights out of Couture, but aside from the aforementioned guys who are closer to his age, it's difficult to envision him being successful against true top dogs like Shogun Rua, Lyoto Machida or Rashad Evans. I also shudder to think what might happen if the UFC were to throw Couture in the cage with an up-and-coming young gun like Jon Jones.
The consummate competitor, if Couture is game for bouts against those youthful talents, you absolutely have to let him try it. Regardless of how hard to watch the results might be.
Promoting Couture from here on out will be a delicate give-and-take between what is promotable and what is possible. Now factor into the equation that delicacy is certainly not the UFC's strong suit, and I think the last year or so of Couture's career could be very interesting.
Almost more than anything, I hope he can prove me wrong.
Read entire article...
Related MMA gear from the UG Store