Not much has been made of Randy Couture's final fight in the UFC. Is it being buried in a sea of ‘GSP mania' or is it just not that big a deal to anyone? Not exactly sure. Either way, it seems like one of the sport's great pioneers should be sent out with a bit more of a bang.
Looking to sour the night for Couture is Lyoto Machida. After dropping two straight to Mauricio Rua and Quinton Jackson, this fight is do or die for the former champion. While I'm sure fans would love to see Couture's career go out on a high note, it would almost certainly come at the price of Machida's.
Machida has to avoid a slow start in this fight. We saw in his fight with Rampage Jackson that he can give away early rounds because of his unique style. Couture will be constantly moving forward, always pressuring. He'll want to pin Machida's hips to the cage and take away his mobility. Couture does not take fights he doesn't think he can win. Be it Tim Sylvia, Mark Coleman or even James Toney, Couture is very good about finding an opponent's holes and exploiting them. He is the master gameplanner and is tough to pick against no matter the circumstances.
I just think Machida is too much right now. He knows what's at stake in this fight and he won't allow himself to fall into the same mistakes that cost him in his last two fights. Couture hasn't competed with someone on Machida's level for a few years now. If you take a look at the guys Couture has beaten over the last seven years, aside from Vera, who was cut, none of them are still fighting in the UFC. Couture is my best bet to win as an underdog, but I'm going with Machida.