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UFC 102 Preview: Randy Couture Talks Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

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In an interview with MMAFanhouse, Randy Couture talked about going up against Nogueira's submission game and more:

How much of your preparation is film study, watching Nogueira against Mir and against other opponents? Is film study a major part of your preparation?
It always is for me. I like to study tape, see what guys' tendencies are, see where they like to be, where they don't like to be. I've seen a lot of Nogueira's fights, so I have an idea of what kind of fighter he is. Studying his fight with Heath Herring was interesting, and I thought his fight with Mir was interesting, and those are definitely fights I've closely studied.

With how good Nogueira's submissions are, would you prefer to keep that fight standing?
Well, I have to be attentive on the ground, but I think working with Neil Melanson, I've come up with ways to control the submission game, and I think if we go to the ground, I can be on the top or bottom and I'll be fine -- I think I can win the fight there. How cool would it be to submit Nogueira? Beating him on the ground would be an accomplishment.

I can see Couture grinding out a decision against Nogueira, but I definitely don't see him submitting him.  I mean Couture wasn't exactly a submission wizard on the Pros vs. Joes show that where he had to sub guys that didn't have any real MMA training.

His thoughts on getting another title shot:

It certainly would be. No one has ever submitted Nogueira. If you beat Nogueira, do you think your next fight should be a rematch with Brock Lesnar?
It doesn't really matter what I think. It's what the UFC thinks that's important. So I've just got to take what comes along and see, after the dust settles, where I am. But I'm not looking past Nogueira. If other opportunities present themselves, there are a lot of good fights for me in the UFC right now.

It'll be interesting to see what Zuffa does considering Couture will have one more fight on his UFC contract after tangling with Nogueira.  If he gets a title shot, surely they would have to do a new contract with him in case he were to pull off the upset.  There's always a chance he could drop back down to LHW to face either Anderson Silva or Lyoto Machida.  Who would you like to see Couture face next after Nogueira?

UFC 102: Couture vs. Nogueira coverage