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Preview: UFC 74
Preview: UFC 74
"UFC: 74 - Respect" is live on pay-per-view tonight, and you know our resident Fight Dr is all lathered up for this thing tonight, and he checks in to preview it for us as he does for all the UFC PPV cards. Tonight's a milestone for me as well, as I officially jump to the dark side and order this thing up, after getting caught up on the last ten or so events on DVD. Couture-Gonzaga headlines it. The Spoon Man tells us about it.
The UFC fight card for Saturday is titled "Respect." Some of the fighters that will be stepping into the octagon are some of the most respected mixed martial artists in the fight game. There are a lot of great matchups where the underdogs in those fight can earn everyone's respect.
Live from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, from top to bottom, the UFC once again has a very solid card in store for fight fans.
The main event of the evening features UFC Hall of Famer Randy "The Natural" Couture who is putting his Heavyweight title on the line when he takes on Gabriel "Napao" Gonzaga. Styles make fights is the classic saying and this is going to shape up to a helluva fight.
Couture is coming off of a huge victory at UFC 68 where he took apart former champ Tim Sylvia. Randy simply dominated the fight for the entire five rounds to regain a belt that he held once before. Randy Couture is only UFC fighter who has held both the light heavyweight title as well as the heavyweight crown. The guy is 44 years old and still simply amazing. His heart is the biggest in the sport and his training seems to be second to none. He has a tough task ahead of him in Gonzaga.
When it comes to earning respect, there is no better way to gain it then to beat the so called best striker in the sport of mixed martial arts. Gabriel Gonzaga was a 7 to 1 underdog when he faced off with Mirko Cro Cop at UFC 70 in April of this year. Gonzaga only scored one of the best knockouts in the UFC with a devastating head kick. It was picture perfect and will stay on highlight reels for years to come. With that victory, Gonzaga brought his UFC record to a perfect 4-0. He looks to make that five in a row come Saturday night.
I look for this fight to be a test of wills. Couture is going to have to get Gonzaga to the ground if he wants to keep his belt. The challenger has the advantage standing and will look to take advantage of the smaller Couture. I think he are going to see a new champion crowned, and Gonzaga will earn the respect that he deserves.
The second featured fight of the night is going to be simply amazing in my opinion. Georges St. Pierre will go to battle with Josh Koscheck in this must see welterweight showdown.
St. Pierre to me is the most skilled fighter in the world of mma. He has the quickness of a lightweight and the power of a heavyweight. His ground game is amazing and his standup is top of the food chain. His only weakness might be his chin. He is so good that he doesn't get hit with too many clean shots. Matt Serra however, landed a few punches right on the button and took away his title back at UFC 69. In order to get back in the title hunt, GSP has his work cut out for him.
Josh Koscheck is a phenominal athlete. He is the best wrestler in the UFC and has improved leaps and bounds since we saw him on The Ultimate Fighter reality show. Koscheck has compiled a 7-1 UFC record and looks to get into that number one contender spot with another win. He will sure earn it if he can beat St. Pierre after coming off a win over Diego Sanchez at UFC 69.
There were rumors floating around that St. Pierre was partying a little too hard and took Matt Serra lightly. There is no way he will look past Koscheck and I expect him to get back to his winning ways to set up another title fight for himself. Koscheck impresses me every time I see him and he will hang tough. The standup game will be the difference in what should be a very exciting and entertaining battle.
Three other fighters that are great to watch will be fighting tonight also. When they fight, I don't miss them.
Roger Huerta will be taking on Alberto Crane in a lightweight matchup. Look for Huerta to improve to 5-0 in dominating fashion. He is working his way up the pound for pound rankings.
Joe "Daddy" Stevenson is another young lightweight fighter who is seeking a title shot. He'll step in with Kurt Pellegrino who is a very tough guy. I expect a Joe "Daddy" win and setting up a possible showdown with Huerta soon.
"The Carpenter" is back and I can't wait. Clay Guida might be the most exciting fighter nobody talks about. He holds a 1-2 record in the UFC but those three fights were mma clinics and were so fast paced that they made my head spin. He looks for a victory over Marcus Aulerio who will make his octagon debut. I know this fight will be action packed.
Champion Randy Couture vs. Gabriel Gonzaga (for heavyweight title)
Georges St. Pierre vs. Josh Koscheck
Patrick Cote vs. Kendall Grove
Joe Stevenson vs. Kurt Pellegrino
Alberto Crane vs. Roger Huerta
David Heath vs. Renato "Babalu" Sobral
Antoni Hardonk vs. Frank Mir
Marcus Aurelio vs. Clay Guida
Ryan Jensen vs. Thales Leites
Every fighter on the card tonight has a lot to gain and some have a lot to lose. This is going to make for a simply amazing night of mixed martial arts action yet again and I can't wait to tune in and see who prevails and earns even more respect. Don't miss it.
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