Is Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira's UFC 102 Training Camp for Randy Couture Really Going Well?

Bignog_medium At the press conference call Nogueira emphasized that he is feeling the best he has in years:

"I'm 33 years old, and I have a lot to do in my career still," Nogueira said. "At least, I've got to fight a couple of more years.

"I know I'm still young and feel healthy. I still feel when I fight I'm very competitive. ... I'm in the best shape since 2005. I feel very good, and I did not feel like (that) in the last four years."

But rumors are swirling that his camp hasn't gone well and that he has been knocked out repeatedly in sparring sessions, a far cry from the iron-chinned Minotauro of old.

We will find out almost exactly one week from tonight. Personally, I'm hoping for the best Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira we've ever seen, but I just can't convince myself it's very likely.

The other question is this -- even if it is the best Big Nog we've ever seen, could that man beat Randy Couture? Perhaps if they had met ten years ago when Couture's submission defense game was much more limited. But in 2009, it's hard to draw a path to victory for Nogueira. He might be able to outpoint Couture on the feet, but he's never displayed KO power. There's no way he'll dominate the takedowns against Couture and it's highly unlikely he'll be able to sweep Randy from his back. That leaves the old hail mary triangle or arm bar from his back. But it's not 2003 and Randy ain't Mirko Cro Cop.

Video of Big Nog training in the full entry.

Photo by Dave Mandel for Sherdog.

Ufc_102_button_medium

Here's Big Nog training at his L.A. Black House gym for Randy Couture at UFC 102:

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bloody Elbow

You must be a member of Bloody Elbow to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bloody Elbow. You should read them.

Join Bloody Elbow

You must be a member of Bloody Elbow to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bloody Elbow. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5349_tracker