Randy Couture has a big fight ahead of him against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 102, and if he wins he might just get another crack at the UFC heavyweight title, which will be decided in the main event of UFC 100, Frank Mir vs. Brock Lesnar. But Couture says he doesn't much care who wins that fight.
"I think both guys are amazing fighters," Couture tells our friend Steve Cofield of CageWriter.com. "I don't really care one way or the other. I'm leaning toward Lesnar. It's always harder for the guy who won the first one to make adjustments, come back and win again."
I disagree with Couture when he says that it's harder for the guy who wins the first time to come back and win again the second time. I don't have the exact numbers in front of me, but I believe that in MMA, the winner of the first fight wins about 70% of the rematches.
However, I think it makes a lot of sense that Couture says he doesn't much care who wins, because I think whether Couture gets another shot at the heavyweight title depends almost entirely on himself and hardly at all on what happens on Saturday night. I think if Couture has an impressive victory over Nogueira and emerges from it uninjured, he'll probably get the next heavyweight title shot no matter what happens on Saturday night. If Couture loses to Nogueira, or if he gets hurt in that fight and needs a long time off, then the next heavyweight title shot will probably go to the Shane Carwin-Cain Velasquez winner at UFC 104. So for Couture, it really doesn't matter whether Mir or Lesnar wins. And that allows him to be more candid in his analysis.