Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was nothing short of spectacular on Saturday night at UFC 102 in Portland, Oregon. The former Pride FC heavyweight champ dominated UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture through the better part of three rounds en route to posting an easy unanimous decision victory.
Big Nog sent Couture to the canvas early in the first round with a quick three-punch combo, however wasn’t able to finish the dazed Couture when he went in for the kill. Nog immediately transitioned to a d’arce choke attempt, which looked to be synced-in tightly, but Couture manage to wiggle free.
It was a pattern that reigned supreme throughout their entire 15 minute affair – Nog would have Couture in trouble but was unable to finish due to Couture’s relentlessness.
The final five minutes were very similar to the first five, as Nogueira put Couture on the canvas again. They swing, clinch and grapple, but the final horn sounded with Big Nog raising his hands in victory and Couture looking down in the dumps.
It was one of the most highly anticipated matches in MMA history, one that would have been sick four years ago, however certainly didn’t disappoint anyone. Sure Nog posted a convincing 30-27, 30-27, 29-28 unanimous decision, but the fight was much closer and a lot more exciting than the scorecards indicated.