Randy Couture versus Gabriel Gonzaga is fast approaching and just about everyone has an opinion about what will happen in the fight that will decide the UFC Heavyweight Championship.
Currently, BetUS.com has Gonzaga listed as a very slight favorite over the incumbent champion, but Randy Couture has proven time and time again that he cannot be underestimated.
MMAWeekly recently spoke to a few fighters as well as MMAWeekly Radio host Damon Martin and co-host Jeff Cain who all gave their picks and predictions on who will win between Randy Couture and Gabriel Gonzaga.
“I think Randy always comes in with a good game plan, and I think Gonzaga, even though he got that incredible knockout with Mirko (CroCop), I’m thinking Randy’s got the game plan to get him. I’ve got to go with Randy on this one.”
“Well, Randy of course, probably 3rd round TKO. Why? Because I’m biased, it’s Randy Couture for Christ’s sake and second of all I think he’s going to have it for him. I think he’s going to be able to wear him down and out-cardio him.”
“Randy has an ability to take people out of their game, exploit their weakness, and make them look bad. Myself, I think Randy’s going to have the edge here.
Here’s a guy who went and competed in submission wrestling competition with Jacare, arguably the best pound for pound grappler in the world, and went to a draw. So we know his submission skills and ability to stay out of submissions is greatly improved since the past.
I’ve seen what Randy can do to big guys. I saw what he did to a giant in Tim Sylvia. I think that the size differential and the ability to go five rounds, he’s proven that over and over and this is a tremendous fight again.
We’re going to see what Gonzaga can do. I’m curious to see what he can do off his back and maybe see if he can get Randy on his back, I think that’s going to be huge. I think this fight could come down to wrestling as well.”
“I think Randy wins that fight. I hope Randy wins that fight and then I can fight him in December. I’d like to fight Randy. I’ll fight Gonzaga. We’ll see what happens.”
DAMON MARTIN (HOST – MMAWEEKLY RADIO):
“Randy Couture is a legend in the sport and it is getting harder, basically next to impossible to pick against this guy. He has to be the most well liked person in this industry and everyone is a fan of the guy. That said, I think that Randy is going to run into many of the same problems he ran into back when he fought guys like Josh Barnett and Ricco Rodriguez. Big strong wrestlers, who can grapple and overpower him at certain points in the fight.
Gabriel Gonzaga is going to come into this fight probably 15 to 20 pounds heavier than Randy and is world class on the ground. On the other hand, Randy has a phenomenal clinch game and dirty boxing that we really haven’t seen Gonzaga deal with yet in his UFC career. I think at the end of the night, we’re going to see a new UFC heavyweight champion crowned with Gabriel Gonzaga pulling out a TKO in the 3rd round.”
JEFF CAIN (CO-HOST – MMAWEEKLY RADIO):
“It’s an extremely hard bout to pick a winner in. Gabriel Gonzaga has youth and size on his side, but Randy Couture is Randy Couture. I think this fight comes down to who comes in with the better game plan and who is able to implement that plan first.
Randy is one of, if not the best at formulating a game plan to defeat an adversary. With that said, I think Gonzaga is a very difficult stylistic match up for Couture and will come away with the win and the belt by hurting Randy standing and neutralizing him on the ground with submission attempts. And the new UFC Heavyweight Champion of the World, Gabriel Gonzaga.”
KEN PISHNA (EDITOR – MMAWEEKLY.COM)
“On paper, Gonzaga looks to have the advantage in most areas. He’s a better submission fighter; he’s bigger, stronger; he’s knocked guys like Mirko out.
But there are a few elements that favor Couture as well. He is a master at game planning. His wrestling is second-to-none, especially when you apply it to the MMA game. And despite his age, Couture has the experience and the gas tank to go for days.
If Gonzaga can catch Couture early on in the bout with a heavy punch or kick, he has a good chance at winning. But I see Couture using his speed and athleticism to his advantage, avoiding Gonzaga early in the fight and attempting to wear him down over the course of the first 3 to 4 rounds. At that point, I think Couture may have a shot at finishing Gonzaga – who has never been into the ‘Championship Rounds’ – otherwise look for the decision nod in Couture’s favor.”