Nogueira beats Couture at UFC 102
PORTLAND, Ore. --
The 46-year-old Couture was knocked down twice by
"He's a true champion," Nogueira said of Couture after the bout. "He's been champ a couple times. He's one of my idols in the UFC."
The victory proved that the 33-year-old Nogueira still has some life left in his career, at least as long as he's healthy. He acknowledged that a staph infection hurt his performance against
"I was obviously disappointed to lose, but you've got to love this sport," Couture said, adding that he still felt physically and mentally sound and has every intention of continuing on despite back-to-back losses.
Even though he never achieved a truly dominant position in the fight and didn't come close to finishing Nogueira, Couture showed no real signs of age or diminishing skill. Rather, it was Nogueira who seemed to have transformed, as he turned in his best performance since coming to the UFC two years ago. With a victory over a legend like Couture, the fighter known for his resiliency under duress may have resurrected his career. At least for now.
In the light heavyweight division,
"The fight was very important for me, because I love fighting too much here," Silva said after the victory. "Fighting is my life."
The much-anticipated clash of styles between top middleweight contenders
Afterwards Marquardt made a plea for a second shot at
"I want that belt and I don't know who's going to get the next shot, but if you want someone who's going to go in there and kick Anderson Silva's butt, you're going to give the shot to me."
In other action on the night...
• Four-time All-American wrestler
• Light heavyweight
• A knee injury to
• An inadvertent kick to the groin from
• The moments of excitement were few and far between in a heavyweight clash between