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The NOW Big Thing

Written by Tom Ngo
November 16th, 2008

In only his fourth professional MMA fight, many wondered why Brock Lesnar entered his UFC 91 heavyweight showdown against UFC champion Randy Couture as a slight favorite. Then at 3:07 into the 2ndRound, the world found out exactly why. Lesnar TKO’ed the UFC Hall of Famer to become the new UFC heavyweight champion of the world.

Lesnar outweighed the reigning champ by an overwhelming 45 pounds at Saturday’s weigh-ins, and probably outweighed him by more than 55 pounds come fight time. In addition, Lesnar was just younger, quicker and stronger than Couture, and it showed.

Couture knew that the odds were stacked against him, in addition, due to his highly publicized contract dispute with the UFC, he hadn’t fought in over 14 months. However, Couture has built his legacy on being able to mange to find a way to defy the odds and pull through. But it just wasn’t happening Saturday night.

It seemed as though Couture was the better conditioned fighter, looking fresher and more active throughout the bout. Perhaps if he could have pushed it past the 3rdRound, Lesnar would have had trouble keeping pace, but Lesnar’s size advantage was just too substantial.

The former WWE wrestler caught Couture with a quick right to the temple, and sent the legend to the canvas. Lesnar immediately pounced on him, raining down a flurry of punches before referee Mario Yamasaki was forced to stop the fight.

The future certainly looks bright for the newly crowned champ, however it is much more cloudy for Couture. Will he come back to fight at the heavyweight division? The light heavyweight? At all? Perhaps Father Time will make that decision for the 45-year old Couture.

But UFC 91 isn’t about Randy and all of his past accomplishments. It is about Lesnar, the future of the division. Like it or not, “The Next Big Thing” is “The Now Big Thing.”

UFC 91 Quick Results:

Preliminary Bouts:

Matt Brown Defeated Ryan Thomas via Submission (Armbar) at 0:57 in the 2ndRound
Mark Bocek Defeated Alvin Robinson via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:16 in the 3rdRound
Jeremy Stephens Defeated Rafael dos Anjos via KO (Punch) at 0:39 in the 3rdRound
Aaron Riley Defeated Jorge Gurgel via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Main Bouts:

Damian Maia Defeated Nate Quarry via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:13 in the 1stRound
Gabriel Gonzaga Defeated Josh Hendricks via TKO (Strikes) at 1:01 in the 1stRound
Dustin Hazelett Defeated Tamdan McCrory via Submission (Armbar) at 3:59 in the 1stRound
Kenny Florian Defeated Joe Stevenson via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:03 in the 1stRound
Brock Lesnar Defeated Randy Couture via TKO (Strikes) at 3:07 in the 2ndRound

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