Pair of 49ers predict UFC 91 - Sports Illustrated

Pair of 49ers predict UFC 91

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There's no doubt that the UFC 91 is going to be one of the biggest events in the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The return of arguably the most popular fighter in the promotion's history coupled with the rise of one of pro wrestling's premier stars in the MMA for the company's heavyweight championship could make for pay-per-view gold.

So it's no surprise that a wide array of people are chiming in on UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture's title defense against Brock Lesnar this weekend at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, including athletes from other sports.

Members of the National Football League's San Francisco 49ers and huge MMA fans Patrick Willis and Jeff Ulbrich recently weighed in on the heavyweight clash.

"He's like a freak in wrestling," was the observation of Brock Lesnar by last year's Defensive Rookie of the Year and defensive captain Willis.

"But Randy's been doing it for a long time," he said of the three-time champ. "He's a smart guy, and I've seen it time and again in my profession, guys been playing for 14 years and you wonder how they still make blocks or maneuver like they do. They're not as fast as they once were, but they're a lot smarter and have a lot more knowledge from when they first came in."

Nine-year veteran and current special teams standout Ulbrich concurs that the fight seems to come down to Couture's smarts versus Lesnar's raw ability.

"Randy's a guy that can stick to a game plan and when things go bad, he's not going to just revert to his wrestling," he stated, "But it's one of the few times when you have a guy that's just as good, if not better, at wrestling than Randy with Brock.

"He's a powerful person, and it's hard to say it, but Lesnar's got that edge," stated Ulbrich. "Randy's so smart though, and it's hard to count him out. I know he's going to have a great gameplan and is going to go after Lesnar's weaknesses."

Again, mirroring his teammate's observation, Willis made his call for who he thinks will win the fight.

"I'm sure Randy is going to know (Lesnar's) strengths and weaknesses, and he's going to know where he can take advantage where he can," said Patrick. "I'll go with Randy."

Ulbrich concurs with his fellow linebacker in his choice for who will go home with the belt on Saturday night.

"It's going to be tough fight, and you can't count Randy," he stated. "So, I pick Randy if I had to pick somebody."

With all that's said, it's clear that not just the MMA community, but sports across the board, have their eyes firmly affixed on what could be the biggest fights of the year when Randy Couture and Brock Lesnar meet for the heavyweight title at UFC 91.