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UFC Twitter Mailbag: UFC 102, Couture, Nogueira Brothers

UFC TwitterToday's UFC Twitter mailbag focuses on UFC 102, the main event of Randy Couture vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and Nogueira's declaration on Tuesday that his twin brother, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, will soon sign to fight with the UFC.

Your questions and comments, and my responses, in the UFC Twitter mailbag are below.

robindurden: Nogueira's chin has been suspect since his UFC debut. Mir seemed to be the only one to capitalize on it by keeping it standing.
It's certainly true that Nogueira's first two UFC opponents, Heath Herring and Tim Sylvia, had some opportunities that they failed to capitalize on the way Frank Mir did. I'm not ready to concede that Nogueira's chin is suspect, though. I think we're going to see a much better Nogueira in the Octagon against Couture than we've seen so far in his three UFC fights.

OrangeChuck: What's your pick for Couture/Nogueira? I think Randy pulls it off but not enough to bet on it.
I haven't made up my mind yet, but right now I'm leaning toward Nogueira. I really think the 33-year-old Nogueira has more gas left in the tank than we're giving him credit for, while the 46-year-old Couture has less.

JayVeeEn: How relevant will the winner of the noguiera-couture matchup be in the heavyweight division?
Very relevant. I think Couture could be the next challenger to Brock Lesnar's title if he beats Nogueira. A Couture-Lesnar rematch might be too big a pay-per-view draw for the UFC to turn down. I asked Nogueira if he thinks he'd deserve a title shot against Lesnar if he beats Couture, and he surprised me by saying no. But I think Nogueira is probably only a couple wins away from being a No. 1 contender. Couture-Nogueira is a big fight.

Tito1984: Rogerio Nogueira is a TOP light heavyweight, no question about that. Remember Shogun vs Nogueira, Pride, 2005?
Rogerio's unanimous decision loss to Shogun Rua at Pride Critical Countdown 2005 was a great fight, and one of only three losses in Rogerio's 20-fight career. There are a lot of great light heavyweight fights for Rogerio in the UFC.

elfudge35: I'm ecstatic, it's long overdue, he's definitely a top 10 guy at 205, beaten Hendo and Overeem, deserves his shot.
Rogerio certainly has some impressive wins on his record, including, as you mention, Dan Henderson and Alistair Overeem (twice). Personally, I'd love to see a rematch between Henderson and Rogerio, although it looks like Henderson is staying at 185 pounds and Rogerio will fight at 205.

lelandroling: Awesome acquisition if it goes through, potentially a top three guy.
I agree, but I'm concerned that there could be a bottleneck at the top of the division if he, Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida establish themselves as the Top 3 light heavyweights and then all refuse to fight each other.

WatchKalibRun: Also takes away an opponent from Mousasi/Sobral/ Strikeforce.
This is a key point. When the UFC acquires fighters, Dana White isn't only thinking about how those fighters will draw in the UFC. He's also thinking about how he can keep those fighters from drawing in other promotions. A Strikeforce light heavyweight title fight between Gegard Mousasi and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira would be a big one, but that can't happen if Nogueira is in the UFC. With how stacked the UFC light heavyweight division is, it will be very interesting to see what kind of light heavyweight challengers Strikeforce can find for Mousasi.

Want to be part of our next UFC Twitter mailbag? Post a question or comment on, and be sure to start it with @MichaelDavSmith.

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