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Old 08-20-2009, 10:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Couture vs. Nogueira: The Fight for Relevance

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Originally Posted by IronMan @ MMAOpinion

Eye injuries have been a serious problem for Nogueira, but he's managed to pull out some wins anyway.

It hasn’t been said, perhaps because it sounds like too harsh a criticism of two of the sport’s most beloved competitors, but it should.

The upcoming bout between former UFC heavyweight and lightheavyweight Randy Couture (16-9 MMA, 13-6 UFC, #6 IWMMAR) and former Pride and UFC heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (31-5-1-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC, #5 IWMMAR) will be a test to see if either of these two fighters are going to have continued relevance in one of MMA’s most controversial and talent-starved divisions.

While both fighters are legends, and will have extensive careers as long as they choose to keep fighting, it’s really a question of whether they can continue to have an impact on a division that seems to be getting bigger and, while not growing quickly, has a younger, athletic and talented pool of fighters. Nogueira and Couture, who have been less than impressive in recent performances, need to answer what will inevitably be criticisms of their ability to compete against a generation of younger fighters as they keep getting older.
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