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UFC 102 Preview: Fighters Weigh In On Randy Couture vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

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Earlier this week, I asked if Randy Couture would be able to avoid being submitted by Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 102.  Now some trainers and fighters that are familiar with both fighters share their thoughts on strategies these fighters may imploy to win.  Check it:

Gesias Cavalvante:

 

"Minotauro is great, faster, stronger, and I hope he can maintain the rhythm until the fight. I think it’s gonna be a great fight and he’ll bring another victory to Brazil. It’s gonna be an strategic fight. I don’t know how is Couture’s preparation on the ground, where I think he can win on the ground and pound, but I don’t know if he’s confident on doing it against Minotauro".

Paulo Filho:

 

"I’ve noticed that, in Couture’s losses against Ricco Rodriguez and Josh Barnett, he was punished from the half guard. Even me, who am a jiu-jitsu fighter since I was a kid, suffer a little from the half guard. Minotauro should work in the half guard, a lot of submissions, arm-locks, triangles, because I think he’s good on that and Randy will be in trouble there. He has everything to win this fight".

 

Luiz Alves, Nogueira’s muay thai coach:

 

""We think that Couture will fight standing against him, and Rodrigo thinks that too. Rodrigo is 100% prepared standing. I always said that this fight were good to Rodrigo, because Couture has no punch to knock him out, and Rodrigo boxes better than him… Rodrigo is prepared in the ground too and will work to submit, because Rodrigo has everything to submit him. Our strategy is stay away from the fence".

Ricardo Arona:

 

"Minotauro is very focused on winning, doing the perfect strategy for this fight and working a lot in the physical preparation. Talking about two great athletes who fights for a long time and has very unique styles, we know what they’re gonna do. Minotauro has to set a strategy to get Randy loss inside there, because he works well on the ground and pound and the fence".

Robert Drysdale, Couture’s jiu-jitsu coach:

 

"I like Minotauro a lot, but if I had to bet my money I’d put it on Randy, because I think he has more tools to beat Rodrigo. I see few things that Minotauro could do to beat Randy. Everything can happen, but I think Couture has more chances to win this fight".

Amaury Bitetti, Nogueira’s bjj coach and two times BJJ open weight champion:

 

"He’s training with Anderson Silva and a lot of experienced guys from jiu-jitsu and wrestling. ‘Minota’ is very confident in this fight, recovered the knee, is with a good weight, with 104kg, and is flying for this fight".

HT: Tatame

UFC 102: Couture vs. Nogueira coverage