I attended UFC 91 in Las Vegas this past weekend, and before I discuss the show, I just want to say that very little can match the live experience of a big UFC main event. The tension and excitement in the crowd absolutely blew away anything I've ever been a part of.
I loudly predicted Randy Couture would defeat Brock Lesnar, and obviously I have to eat humble pie. For the first round, the fight went as I expected. Lesnar took him down, but Randy was able to fight his way back up. After the round, I still believed Randy could win. He essentially stuffed Brock's wrestling, an ominous sign for Brock's future against guys like Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez.
What I didn't expect was Brock beating Couture in standing exchanges. I didn't expect such effective knees out of the clinch and that brutal elbow. I also didn't know if he could take a clean, straight punch--but he did, and appeared completely unfazed.
I don't think the fight necessarily says anything bad about Randy. His work getting up against Lesnar was extraordinary, but Lesnar's power was just too much. I got the feeling Randy trained so hard for wrestling and just assumed he'd pick Brock apart standing, and it just didn't happen.
Going forward, Nogueira-Lesnar is a classic match. The story is perfect for Nogueira, and if they hype it right it is a gigantic fight. I'm also very interested to see what is next for Randy. Despite reports to the contrary, I am hearing that they want to hold Chuck off until June to fight Randy in Germany. If I was Joe Silva for a day, I'd do that fight at heavyweight and give the winner a shot against the tournament winner. Brock-Randy II would be even bigger, but Chuck-Brock would probably be the biggest fight in UFC history. And of course either of them vs. Nogueira would be great too. If they insist on moving Randy back to 205 to end his career, fights against Chuck and Anderson would be big ones and a good way to go out.
One other note: the UFC does a terrible job with sound. Now that I've seen the broadcast, it just doesn't even come close to conveying the emotion in the audience. The crowd just absolutely went berserk for everything Randy did, and they really need a sound upgrade to capture that emotion for television.