Recently on The Lavar Arrington Show with Chad Dukes, former UFC Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture expressed interest in a possible fight with current UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva at light heavyweight. To wit:
Chad Dukes: Would you ever consider [dropping to light heavyweight] and facing [Silva]?
Randy Couture: Yeah, are you kidding? I think he's one of the best fighters in the world. Those are the kinds of guys I want to fight. That would be an interesting fight.
I think the guy with a wrestling background that can get their hands on him, tie him up and smother him is definitely a guy that's going to give him fits and make him have a rough night.
Chad Dukes: Wow, he's said he wants to fight more at 205lbs but doesn't want to fight Machida. Has that even been floated out to you? Is that something that's even been discussed by Dana or any of these guys?
Randy Couture: Ah, they certainly haven't approached me with it. I think the idea's been kicked around, but I don't know if it's being kicked around by the executives at Zuffa.
It's too far in the future to speculate about what likelihood there is in terms of making this fight happen, but my initial hunch is that the possibility is greater than it may seem. The UFC would likely have to negotiate such a fight on a new contract should Couture defeat Nogueira at UFC 102 and earn a rematch with Lesnar. But as far as other logistics, the fight has appeal. Couture isn't really a contender at light heavyweight anymore, so knocking him off in that bout wouldn't hurt the division and could only make Couture even more beloved should he prevail. Moreover, the fight would likely be commercially successful. As Michael Rome has pointed out, there is reason to believe Silva's draw as a PPV star could be on the rise and we already know Couture can move units.
As for how the two match-up, I still see Silva's speed as a terrible problem. The idea that getting a wrestler's hands on Silva is the way to win is technically true, if shortsighted. While Silva has mediocre takedown defense from the clinch or even at striking range, it turns out closing the distance on him is exceptionally difficult. So while I have no doubts Couture could inflict massive damage on top in half guard, getting to a position where he can execute a takedown is a path fraught with peril.