Natural ekes out win over The Truth

SUN NEWS SERVICES

, Last Updated: 3:02 AM ET

MANCHESTER -- As UFC Hall of Famer Randy (The Natural) Couture celebrated a win in last night's UFC 105, MMA fans were forced to deal with news Brock Lesnar was suffering serious health troubles.

Couture eked out a close decision over Brandon (The Truth) Vera in a drab light-heavyweight fight just as word was out Lesnar, UFC's heavy-weight champion, was seriously ill in hospital after collapsing in Canada.

UFC president Dana White said Lesnar is in rough shape.

"He's in really bad shape," White said. "He is not well, and he is not getting any better ... He's very, very sick, and he's going to be out for a while. He's got a lot of problems."

Citing mononucleosis, the 32-year-old Lesnar was forced to postpone a title fight against Shane Carwin scheduled for UFC 106 Nov. 21 in Las Vegas.

The fight was pushed back to UFC 108 Jan. 2, but that too has been postponed.

"He's got mono, and he's got something else wrong with him. I know what's wrong with him -- he just doesn't want me talking about it," White said. "He doesn't have cancer or AIDS or anything like this, (but) he's got some problems, man."

White said Lesnar was in a hospital in North Dakota.

The 6-foot-3, 265-pounder owns property in Canada, White added.

"He dropped up there and had to go to hospital," White said.

Meanwhile, the Couture-Vera contest was hardly a barnburner, with the two stuck in a clinch for much of the 15 minutes.

The three judges scored it 29-28 for the 46-year-old Couture, who snapped a two-fight losing streak.

Vera probably had reason to be unhappy at the decision.

"I thought I won," Vera said. "I left it all out there ... I don't know man, I don't know."

"Thanks judges," he added sarcastically.

In the co-main event at the M.E.N. Arena, English welterweight Dan (The Outlaw) Hardy won a decision over American Mike (Quick) Swick in a war of attrition contested mainly at the fence for the first two rounds before opening up in the third.

The 30-27, 30-27, 29-28 victory earns Hardy a title shot at Canadian Georges St. Pierre, who was watching cageside.

The champion, looking stylish in a suit and open-necked shirt, entered the cage to shake his hand, sportingly saying Hardy presented a "big threat."

Earlier, English middleweight Michael (The Count) Bisping scored a much-needed victory by stopping Canadian Denis Kang at 4:42 of the second round.

England's Ross (The Real Deal) Pearson, winner of the lightweight division of Season 9 of The Ultimate Fighter, showed crisp striking and a bristling arsenal of kicks and knees in an impressive TKO win over veteran American Aaron Riley (28-12-1).

"This is my life now," said Pearson (12-3).

"I love training, I love fighting."


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