Twelve years ago, in 1998, when Randy Couture was just a wee lad at 34 years of age, and Mark Coleman had just cracked the 30s, this fight was supposed to happen. Now, February 6th 2010, the epic battle between two of the legends of the sport will finally go down. Here's hoping they don't have a heart-attack walking to the octagon.
Matt Serra v. Frank Trigg
Another fight that doesn't matter, other then to help Frankie put food on the table. If Serra ever wants to even dream about contending again, he needs to make the move to LW. Although neither fighter is ever going to be a contender for a belt again, this fight still may end up being very entertaining. Matt Serra can be a real explosive fighter, and Trigg always puts on a good fight. Trigg will try and outwrestle Serra, but needs to be very careful about putting this fight on the ground. I see Matt catching Trigg with a Rear Naked Choke in one of the later rounds, once Trigg gets tired. Serra via Rear Naked Choke in the 3rd Round.
Damian Maia v. Dan Miller
Interesting fight between two of the most dangerous fighters in the Middleweight division. There is no fighter in the UFC who can even remotely rival Damian Maia's Jiu Jitsu. He has a second degree Black Belt in Jiu Jitsu, and has won 7 major tournaments with Team Brassa, a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Competition Team. He is one of the rare pure Jiu Jitsu fighters to have sucessfully made the jump to MMA. He is 5-1 in the UFC, his most recent fight being a loss to the "Great" Nate Marquadt. Dan Miller has also been very successful in the UFC, going 3-1, with his most recent fight also being a loss, to Cheal Sonnen, who is coincidentally Nate Marquadt's next opponent. This should be an easy win for Maia because Dan Miller's bread and butter is his Jiu Jitsu. Although Dan has very strong Jiu Jitsu for the standard, run of the mill MMA fighter, it is not even on the same level as Maia's. So I expect a submission of the night win for Maia, via 1st Round Armbar.
Mike Swick v. Paulo Thiago
I really like Mike Swick, and he's surprised me many times, beating people I felt he should not have beaten, such as Ben Saunders and Marcus Davis, as well as taking the heavy-handed Dan Hardy to a decision. Paulo Thiago is one of the top up-and-comers in the UFC, surprising everyone in his debut by knocking out Josh Koscheck, losing a hard-fought decision to the very tough Jon Fitch, then bouncing back and taking out Jacob Volkmann via decision. Paulo Thiago's chin has never been tested, and he is mainly a Jiu Jitsu fighter, so if Mike can keep this fight standing, then he will most likely get the better of Paulo. I hate betting against Mike Swick, so although I'm not entirely sure he'll win this one, I'll say Swick via 2nd round TKO.
Nate Marquadt v. Cheal Sonnen
Hey, we were just talking about this guy. I'll make this prediction quick. Nate via 2nd Round TKO, and it will be KO of the night. Sorry Cheal, but the only guy in the UFC MW division that can beat Nate right now is Anderson Silva, and maybe Vitor Belfort. And since you are neither, you will not win this fight. Nate has looked incredible in his last 3 fights, finishing each in stunning fashion, AKA knocking his opponents the &@^# out. Just ask Maia. The poor guy probably had a concussion for a month. Cheal doesn't have any threats that Nate hasn't seen before. He has good, but not great boxing, and good, but not great Jiu Jitsu. Great wrestling, but no finish. This is going to be another win on Nate's record, setting him up for his anticipated rematch with Silva, should he get past Belfort.
RANDY COUTURE V. MARK COLEMAN
Two MMA legends, both hall-of-famers, go head-to-head in one of the most anticipated fights of that last decade. To bad it is taking place roughly a decade too late. Fact is, Randy was given a gift when he took a decision win over mediocre Brandon Vera, and Mark Coleman's last, and only, win in the last three years was against Stephan Bonnar. Awesome... So assuming neither collapse on the way to the octagon, or put out a hip in the pre-fight stretching, then I see Randy Couture dirty boxing, and EXHAUSTING Mark Coleman to a Unanimous Decision in what people will call a *SNOOZE FEST*.