Age-Defying: Couture proves he deserves top competition

The main event of UFC 109: “Relentless” from this past Sat. night was a match up between two aging UFC Hall of Famers in Randy Couture and Mark Coleman.

The bout featured two of the most influential mixed martial artists of all time, each looking for another shot at relevancy in what is every day becoming more and more of a young man’s sport.

However, the sport and the UFC may be passing Coleman by, as Couture’s second round submission victory may be enough to set the former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion up with another shot at championship glory.

Since making the move back to the 205-pound weight class, Couture is on a two-fight winning streak, including his victory over Brandon Vera at UFC 105. While “Captain America” was less than dominant in his victory over Vera, his incredible performance against a clearly outclassed Coleman is enough to make Couture’s name pop up in title discussions again.

While fighters such as Rashad Evans and Forrest Griffin are coming off victories against tougher competition than Couture, the UFC has never once been opposed to throwing Couture into a title fight.

Out of the 28 professional fights he has under his belt, 16 of them have been championship fights, either at heavyweight or light heavyweight. This simply shows that if “The Natural” is winning fights, the promotion is not going to be against giving him a title shot, even at the age of 46.

In fact, Couture’s ability to compete at such a high level at his age helps his chances at landing big fights, and possibly even a title shot. There is something awe-inspiring about a man inching towards the age of 50 still being able to compete with the top competition in the UFC.

Another factor that goes right along with his age is Couture’s drawing power. The UFC continues to throw the man into main events, and, although these fights tend to be on cards desperate for a main event match up, Couture continues to bring in the viewers.

However, if a title shot is not meant to be for Couture, everyone can agree that his dominant victory Feb. 6 is enough to put him back on a very high level of competition in the promotion.

Couture’s potential opponents at 205-pounds may be limited right now, but there are top fighters that would certainly be the perfect test to see if “The Natural” is indeed deserving of a shot at the light heavyweight champion, whoever it may be come the likely May match up.

Fighters such as Thiago Silva, Forrest Griffin, and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira would all be extraordinarily good match ups if Couture is still one fight away from a title fight. However, at this point, Silva is the lone high-ranking light heavyweight not already booked for a fight. But a victory over the Brazilian would certainly be reason enough for Dana White and Joe Silva to give Couture his 17th title fight.

However, after Lyoto Machida takes on Mauricio Rua in their much anticipated rematch, the UFC is going to have to find a legitimate match up for the champion, and Couture may just be the man for the job.

Couture is on a two fight winning streak, remains one of the most popular fighters in all of mixed martial arts, and people will love to see if a man at the age of 46 is able to gain the gold once again.

Victories over Brandon Vera and Mark Coleman are not anything to scoff at, but they certainly wouldn’t give a fighter like Keith Jardine a title shot.

That being said, at the age of 46, Couture is a different breed. He continues to improve as a mixed martial artist and consistently draws positive attention to himself and the promotion.

Whether “The Natural” is granted another shot at a UFC championship, or has to settle for another match up before a title shot, Couture’s dominant victory Sat. night has shown that he should still be considered a top light heavyweight in all of mixed martial arts.

With his incredible confidence and will to compete, Couture will once again see top-tier competition in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, as the fans watch a 46-year old attempt to continue his remarkable run in a sport that just doesn’t want to pass him by.

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