Columbus, OH - Randy Couture proved Saturday night that age is just a number.
As Aerosmith's "Back in the Saddle" rocked 19,000 fans at the Nationwide Arena, Couture entered the octagon in his UFC heavyweight title shot as a 3-1 underdog against the younger, taller, and heavier Tim Sylvia.
The forty-three year old Couture didn't waste time coming out of retirement when in the opening seconds of his fight, he caught Sylvia with a punch that sent the champion reeling toward the canvas. Sylvia never recovered. Five rounds later , a battered and bruised Sylvia had to give up his UFC belt to Couture.
Couture did what Jeff Monson couldn't do, bring Sylvia to the mat. The quicker Couture dominated Sylvia while on the ground where Sylvia's reach and height advantage was nullified. Bobbing and weaving, Couture also beat Sylvia in the striking department. It was a classic match of Brain vs. Brawn, the smarter, craftier and wiser Couture showing why he has won five MMA titles with the UFC.
Sylvia didn't help himself in the fan department. He was repeatedly booed this weekend, during the weigh-in and the fight. And after his loss, he attributed his defeat to a back injury. He was fighting one of the most popular fighter's in MMA history and gathered no support or sympathy from the crowd, getting another round of boos in the post-fight interview.
Couture may have been called a "freak of nature" by UFC president Dana White, but that is not going to be enough when he faces Mirko "Crop Cop" Filipovic in his next bout. He will have to be able to withstand the onslaught of kicks that the Croatian fighter is know for. I'm sure Couture will be watching carefully Filipovic's next fight in Manchester, England.
Baseball player Ken Griffey, Jr. watched UFC 68 from his octagonside seat, instead of training with his team in Florida. Ironically, the reason why he was at the fight was because of his broken hand, which he sustained wrestling with his kids. Maybe he got some pointers.