Programming note! I'll be live-Tweeting my thoughts on UFC 102 Saturday night starting at 10 PM, or whenever I start getting wi-fi reception in the bar. You are invited to follow along Saturday night.
The Rolling Stones come through town every year or two, and every time they do I'm sorely tempted to knock my piggybank senseless and pick up some tickets. God, I love me some Stones. The problem is, I don't want to see a creaky Mick and a burnt-out Keith. Yeah, it would be good, and I'd probably enjoy myself a lot banging my head to "Paint It, Black", but I doubt I could savor the night without feeling disappointed that I'm not seeing them in their prime. Sadly, I was born a little too late for Altamont.
Randy "The Natural" Couture is 12 years removed from the first title win of a UFC career that saw him strap plenty of gold around his waist. This is only Antonio "Minotauro" Nogueira's fourth UFC fight, but he was a legend in PRIDE, twice winning their Heavyweight belt. The four men who have beaten Minotauro are Fedor Emilianenko, Dan Henderson, Josh Barnett, and Frank Mir. There's no shame in dropping to any of those guys, and in between he's managed to notch an impressive 31 wins.
There's no question the two men have mythical careers, but the main event of Saturday night's UFC 102 card can't help but leave us all feeling a little wistful. Both men are coming off losses and one has to wonder if the heavyweight division has passed them by.
No doubt, the UFC is salivating over the prospect of one last run for Couture. A win here likely means a rematch against Brock Lesnar, which would be a pay-per-view goldmine for fans looking for the impossible dream: for Couture to stun the world and do to Lesnar what he did in his "Captain America" fight against Chuck Liddell at UFC 43.