|(Photo courtesy of UFC)
Going into UFC 109 in Las Vegas last night, it was speculated the winner of the main event between Randy (The Natural) Couture and Mark (The Hammer) Coleman would earn a light-heavyweight title shot.
The two engaged in a very lacklustre contest, in which Couture (18-10) dominated a plodding Coleman (16-10) at every turn. After securing a takedown, Couture submitted Coleman with a rear-naked choke at 1:09 of the second round. The win presumably earns him a crack at the victor of the championship rematch between Lyoto (The Dragon) Machida and Mauricio (Shogun) Rua, which is slated for May 8 in Montreal.
Couture’s accomplishments speak for themselves and he’s proven to be one of the biggest draws on the UFC roster. However, a controversial decision over Brandon (The Truth) Vera and beating up a human punching bag in Coleman shouldn’t be the criteria for an opportunity at the gold.
With Quinton (Rampage) Jackson rumoured to be fighting (Sugar) Rashad Evans at UFC 114 on May 29 , as well as a scheduled clash between Antonio Rogerio (Minotoro) Nogueira and Forrest Griffin on the same night, giving Couture a shot at the champion just doesn’t sit right.
Couture certainly deserves a high-profile opponent, though. And while a match with someone the likes of Thiago Silva or Matt (The Hammer) Hamill makes sense from a rankings standpoint, a bout with Rich (Ace) Franklin would be a pay-per-view draw.
SONNEN EARNS MIDDLEWEIGH TITLE SHOT
In the best performance of his career, Chael Sonnen dominated Nate (The Great) Marquardt at UFC 109.
Utilizing his world-class wrestling skills, Sonnen (24-10-1) took Marquardt (29-9-2) down at will and unleashed with strikes on the ground. Marquardt fought hard, even sweeping Sonnen towards the end of the third round, but it was not enough to mount a comeback.
In the end, Sonnen was able to grind out a unanimous decision victory, with all three judges scoring it 30-27 in his favour. The bout was also awarded ‘Fight of the Night,’ netting both men an additional $60,000.
Following two dominant wins over top middleweight contenders in Marquardt and Yushin (Thunder) Okami – and with Dan (Hendo) Henderson now competing in Strikeforce – Sonnen has earned a shot at the winner of the UFC 112 title bout between Anderson (The Spider) Silva and Vitor (The Phenom) Belfort.
Needless to say, whoever walks away the champion will need to work hard on their grappling to get ready for Sonnen.
SERRA, THIAGO ALSO GRAB FIGHT BONUSES
Matt (The Terror) Serra and Paulo Thiago each walked away with an additional $60,000 last night.
Serra’s huge overhand right on Frank (Twinkle Toes) Trigg earned him the ‘Knockout of the Night’ bonus, while Paulo Thiago’s D’Arce choke on Mike (Quick) Swick was worthy of ‘Submission of the Night’ honours.
FULL UFC 109 RESULTS
- Joey Beltran def. Rolles Gracie by second-round TKO
- Chris Tuchscherer def. Tim Hague by majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28)
- Phil Davis def. Brian Stann by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
- Robert Emerson def. Phillipe Nover by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Melvin Guillard def. Ronys Torres by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Mac Danzig def. Justin Buchholz by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Matt Serra def. Frank Trigg by first-round knockout
- Demian Maia def. Dan Miller by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Paulo Thiago def. Mike Swick by first-round technical submission (D'Arce choke)
- Chael Sonnen def. Nate Marquardt by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Randy Couture def. Mark Coleman by second-round submission (Rear-naked choke)