Couture captures heavyweight title

first_imgAs he stood in the center of the Octagon, chest heaving and sweat dripping from his brow, all Randy Couture could do was smile and offer one simple sentence. “Not bad for an old man, huh?” Few outside of Couture’s camp believed it could happen. Couture, 43, had been retired since losing the light heavyweight title to Chuck Liddell in February of 2006. In coming back to fight, he was taking on Sylvia, a 6-foot-8, 260-pound giant of a champion who possesses one-punch knockout power. If Couture was to have a chance, he would have to take Sylvia to the mat where his superior wrestling skills could be put to use. Instead, Couture showed off his striking ability early, landing a solid overhand right to the jaw of Sylvia, who was immediately staggered. Though Sylvia survived the round, it seemed he never recovered from that opening punch. “I didn’t think he’d try to strike with me,” Sylvia admitted in the post-fight interview. “He kept me off balance the entire fight.” Not bad for any man. Couture had just become, once again, the UFC heavyweight champion thanks to a unanimous victory over Tim Sylvia in Saturday’s main event of UFC 68 in Columbus, Ohio. center_img Couture continued to control the pace of the fight, getting the better of the exchanges when the fighters were standing, and controlling the ground game, as expected. It was UFC’s debut in the midwest, and the crowd of approximately 19,000 at Nationwide Arena saw two fighters begin their quest regain their championship status. Rich Franklin, who lost his middleweight title to Anderson Silva last October, scored an impressive TKO victory over Jason McDonald. Franklin looked like his old self against McDonald, showing off his well-rounded style. Near the end of the second round, Franklin gained full-mount position and pounded his opponent until the bell rang to end the round. McDonald could not answer the bell for the third round. Also, former welterweight champ Matt Hughes, coming off a loss to Georges St. Pierre, earned a unanimous decision over Chris Lytle. For more on this event, visit James Melroy’s MMA blog at 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more