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Aug 09th
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Home MMA UFC 105 Couture Vs Vera Fight Dissection
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UFC 105 Couture Vs Vera Fight Dissection

ufc_105UFC 105 is a mere two days away but the importance of the main event between UFC hall of famer Randy “The Natural” Couture and Brandon “The Truth” Vera is all but felt in real time. Both fighters seem to be at a crossroads in their careers. The result of which can have a career changing direction for either fighter. In one corner you have Randy Couture, attempting to bounce back from losing his heavyweight title to Brock Lesnar and shrugging off his loss to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. A loss for him will make it three straight in a row and may have him question his form and ultimately lead to his retirement. In the other corner we have the younger and hungry Brandon Vera. The San Diego based fighter is looking to capitalize on the current wave of momentum he is riding with solid wins over Krzysztof Soszynski and Michael Pratt.  A win over the legend will put Vera in contendorship status and raise his stock tenfold. It will boost his confidence level and Vera will believe that he deserves to be in there with the very best.  If Vera loses it’s a step down the ladder and a huge roadblock that will skew current plans to fight for the light heavyweight title some day.  One fight, two separate paths and one fate changing outcome. Let’s see how both mixed martial artist stack up against each other.

Speed: Alright, to start off the second Fight Dissection™, we look at the category of speed. Randy has always had pretty decent speed in every division he has fought in. Never being blown out by a faster fighter nor having the trouble of not being able to hit fighters, if Randy Couture were a video game character he would have speed stats of that of average. Not to slow but not to fast, just enough to compete. Brandon Vera is a pretty fast light heavy weight. He showed his speed in his last fight with Krzysztof Soszynski, and if you compare that example with the rest of the fighters in division he is certainly one of the fastest. Can you see Vera, throwing a combination faster that Shogun Rua? Yup. What about Machida, Ortiz and Griffin. I’d say he’s faster than two of the three mentioned fighters, but certainly has the speed to put down combinations that will give you trouble. Coming down from Heavyweight Randy’s speed will improve but wehter we like to believe or not Randy is a bit old. It’s a known fact that with age you do tend to slow down just a little bit. It happened to Oscar De La Hoya, Mike Tyson and countless other athletes. Randy is no different, check one for the 619 area code.
Advantage: Vera

Punching Power: On the surface this category would be real easy to call. You’d have to go with Randy right? You’d think the fighter that is coming down from heavyweight to light heavyweight would have the strong more rib crushing punches. When you take a look at both fighters they have the same amount of ko/tko wins at lucky number 7. Now the interesting thing is Vera fought at heavyweight and he was able to knock people out.  So there is power there, lately though we have not seen Vera translate that power to the light heavyweight division. In Couture’s fights at light heavyweight he has 3 recorded ko/tko wins, a much better standard than Vera. I’m going to give Randy the nod on this one, but a very slight one. Vera has almost the same amount of knockouts at heavy weight that Randy does, so look for his punches to do damage but you do have to go with the bigger man who is dropping down to carry that extra strength was well. Not to mention, Randy has superman strength!
Advantage: Couture   

Ground Game: Wow what a toughie. Out of all the categories this is by far the toughest to give an advantage to someone. It’s like these two guys cancel themselves out. One is great from the top and the other has great submissions from the bottom. Randy’s bread and butter is ground and pound. He is an expert in keeping you on the ground and hurting you really bad. Randy’s jiu-jitsu is super underrated as well. Not many people know that he had a match with Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza that ended in a draw. Jacare is one of the top Brazilian jiu-jitsu guys in the world! Vera is a reported Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt under Lloyd Irvin and to his credit has won many of grappling competitions that he has participated in over the years. The UFC is a different level and Vera has not subbed any opponents in his UFC career as to date. That takes my vote for Vera away but I’m not siding with Randy either. Randy has had submission victories, but when is the last time you have seen Randy Couture take it to the ground for a submission win? I’ll tell you, it was August of 2005. These guys cancel themselves out for this reason, advantage goes to neither fighter.
Advantage: Tie

Conditioning: We all know the obvious; Randy is practically super human when it comes to conditioning. You bet your ass, when it comes to a fight Randy Couture is going to come in shape and will not gas out midway thru the second round. I can sit here and say “Oh Vera is going to come in the best shape of his life because this is the biggest fight of his career and meow meow meow,” but it’s just useless banter. Vera never has gotten past the 15 minute mark ever in his career. He has improved his form but Randy has him in this department. Randy’s had four fights that have gotten to five rounds, plus going the distance with top heavyweights such as Gabriel Gonzaga and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Hands down, Randy Couture.
Advantage: Couture

Fortitude: So who has the bigger balls? The drive that keeps them going in those circumstances were mere men like me and you would break under. It’s no surprise that the heart of Brandon Vera has been question in the past. Not for being any less of a fighter, but for discipline. He could have easily fought at light heavyweight years ago, but chose to stick to heavyweight citing reasons that he enjoyed his food. Discipline will take you a long way. A perfect example is Couture’s fight with Gonzaga, who broke the former champ’s arms by a brutal leg kick. Randy kept his cool and kept going. The former champ has been in dangerous spots and has never backed down. Vera hasn’t had situations like that in which the best has been brought out of him. I think this is a fight in which we will finally see Vera tested in the same scope Randy has in his previous battles.
Advantage: Couture

Versatility: Time for the most part has been good to the natural. With age comes wisdom and Randy has a tool kit of tricks that he has accumulated from fighting the best of the best. At this point so far, both fighters rely heavily on sticking to their strategies and very rarely skew astray. It makes it hard to really pen down who has the better ability to adapt to in cage tussles when that game plan is thrown out the window. Every fight I look back on both fighters have either stuck to their plan coming and gotten the W or lost because the game plan they had proved to be ineffective. At this point of Vera’s career he is still learning and growing and if I had to choose someone to get the nod here it would have to be Randy, for the mere fact that his tool bag of tricks is just a little bit bigger than Vera’s.
Advantage: Couture
Now this is one where both fighters have been a little shaky. An interesting statistic that I found is that on average Couture has lost every other fight that he has fought in. What I mean is he will win a fight and on average he will lose his next fight. The UFC hall of famer hasn’t had a consistent win streak going since the beginning of his career where he had 4 straight wins. Not to mention he has lost his past two fights, so Randy is not the most consistent fighter in the game today. Not like Vera is the most consistent fighter as well though, losses to Werdum, Sylvia and Jardine have held the fighter down from reaching potential title shot fights. Currently he has turned the tide to his favor. With solid wins over Michael Pratt and Krzysztof Soszynski he’s looked extremely well as a light heavy weight. Not Eating them carne asada fries seems to be paying off for Vera.
Advantage: Vera

The Wild Card: The one intangible factor that can really swing the fight in either direction is, hate to say it, but Randy's age. There’s an old adage that states. “A fighter turns old overnight.” The fight with Nogueira is a perplexing one when put under this categorical microscope. We really won’t know if Nogueira was just that much better or that age has finally caught up to our beloved mma legend until the night of the fight. If age has indeed caught up with Randy, I’m sure the younger more active Vera will push Randy hard. If it is revealed to us that indeed Nogueira was just on another level that night, Vera is about two levels down when you compare skill and experience to that Minotauro. This is a big fifty-fifty, I gotta go with the younger fighter.

Advantage: Vera

Experience: Yea, this category breakdown is going to be a short one. To Vera’s credit, he has a lot of experience and been in there with a multitude of fighters, some who have fought Randy. He’s been exposed to a lot and come fight time I’m sure he’s going to have an idea of how a heavyweight coming down to light heavy is going to hit and move. Randy’s fought a who’s who of legends in the octagon. He’s seen everything and been exposed to just about every situation you can be in. Hands down Randy has a one up in this category.

Advantage: Couture
Striking technique:
If there is one area that can win Vera this fight it’s in this department. Randy exhibited holes in his fight with Nogueira when it came to exchanging punches. He left himself open many times and paid for it. Coming from a muay thai background, Vera is well familiar and practiced in moving in and out after landing combinations. It’s worked for him in his last two fights, even making Michael Pratt verbally quit after landing a brutal leg kick. Vera’s technique in this department is phenomenal, he will score big if he gets Randy to somehow exchange with him.
Advantage: Vera
Take downs/Take down and throw defense:
hmmm, Greco-roman Olympian alternative, whose wrestling game is bar none legendary in mma against a collegiate experienced wrestler who has trained at the Olympic training center in San Diego. There’s a huge difference between training with Olympians and actually being one. When you think of it though, when is the last time we have seen Randy Couture taken down by a single leg or double leg attempt? I’m sure Vera has been working on his takedowns, throws and takedown defense but I just don’t see him being able to match the skill level of the Oregon native. In his match with Brock Lesnar, Couture was nearly able to take the bigger Lesnar down on a trapped arm Greco throw. Lesnar was saved by the cage in what would have been a game changer in their fight this time last year. Look for Randy to score the takedown attempts if given the chance.
Advantage: Couture

Category Advantages for Couture: 6
Category Advantages for Vera: 4

Editors Prediction: So we’ve seen the breakdown and we have an idea of who is stronger in what area. By all means this is going to be a close fight that can go both ways. Randy is up by two categories in this dissection, but as any of my previous ex-girl friends will attest to, it’s always the little things that make the biggest differences. I got to go with Randy Couture by spilt decision. This fight is tailor made for the long haul as both Vera and Couture will both be patient in attempt to have the first one make a mistake. You’ll see a lot of stand up with Vera pressing forward and at some point, the two will clinch and we will see Randy Couture score a Greco takedown and keep Vera down until either the bell rings or the ref stands them back up. Vera being the younger fighter and wanting to prove something will more than likely be the aggressor.  I’m seeing this playing into Couture’s favor giving him chances to counter strike on combinations and close the distance with a takedown and or clinch. Put your bets down ladies and gentlemen, and choose who you see taking this one. Hopefully this guide has made you aware of a few things you did not know before, til next time stay up!

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