UFC 109: "Relentless" Preview & PredictionsCapped off by a main event just shy of 12 years in the making, UFC 109: “Relentless” takes place live later tonight. UFC Hall of Famers Randy “The Natural” Couture and Mark “The Hammer” Coleman will square off in a light heavyweight battle of legends.

Elsewhere on the card, seven-time King of Pancrase Nate “The Great” Marquardt will look to get past the ever-controversial Chael Sonnen in order to get another crack at the middleweight title. MMARising.com has a full preview and predictions for every fight on the card.


Randy “The Natural” Couture vs Mark “The Hammer” Coleman

First set to take place all the way back at UFC 17 in May of 1998, MMA pioneers Couture (17-10-0) and Coleman (16-9-0) will finally meet inside the Octagon in a light heavyweight bout that may determine a future title challenger.

While Couture has been largely dominant throughout his storied UFC career, he is coming off of one of his worst performances in quite some time. By contrast, Coleman picked up a huge victory over Stephan Bonnar back at UFC 100 and he appears to be better motivated for the fight with Couture than he has been for any other fight in recent years.

Couture is known for his excellent Greco-Roman wrestling, while Coleman is regarded as the “Godfather of Ground and Pound” and was the first to utilise the ground striking technique that has since become a staple of MMA. The aging fighters share many common traits and the bout will likely come down to which one can better implement their game plan.

In the past, Coleman’s cardio has been a major issue and Couture plans to put the pressure on from start to finish, but Coleman’s performance against Bonnar showed that he is still a threat. Couture’s questionable decision win over Brandon Vera, on the other hand, left a lot to be desired. Couture is the favourite for a reason here, but it’s tough to root against Coleman and his career resurgence.

A Coleman victory, while unlikely, is definitely not out of the question. However, unless he can land a big punch early on, Couture will smother him en route to a decision win that may or may not endear him to the fans in attendance.


Couture by Unanimous Decision.


Nate “The Great” Marquardt vs Chael Sonnen

The co-main event features a middleweight clash with major title implications, as former title challenger Marquardt (29-8-2) looks to get a second crack at UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva when he takes on the brash and outspoken Sonnen (23-10-1).

Marquardt has won eight of his ten fights inside the Octagon and has knocked out three formidable opponents in a row. The UFC 73 loss to Silva remains as the only time that Marquardt has ever been stopped with strikes and he believes that he has improved greatly since the pair’s first meeting. If he wants another shot at the belt, he will first have to get past Sonnen tonight.

Sonnen has gone from little-known wrestler to one of the most talked about fighters in the UFC after a series of controversial – and humorous – interviews in recent weeks during which he has slammed the careers and accomplishments of other fighters in the sport. Fans have been split in either laughing along with Sonnen’s comments or crucifying him for speaking out of turn.

Once the cage door closes tonight, the time for talking will be over and it will be up to Sonnen to back up what he has said. Sonnen is not overly known for his finishing ability, while Marquardt has stopped 22 of his opponents thus far. If Sonnen can take the fight into the later rounds, he has an excellent chance at pulling off the upset. More likely, he will be forced to return to the drawing board after a humbling defeat.


Marquardt by Submission late in round one.


Paulo Thiago vs Mike “Quick” Swick

This welterweight contest was originally set to feature Thiago (12-1-0) in a rematch with Josh Koscheck. However, with Koscheck sidelined due to injury, Swick (14-3-0) will look to gain a measure of revenge for his AKA teammate, who was defeated by Thiago at UFC 95.

Thiago entered the UFC to very little fanfare and proceeded to shock the world when he knocked out Koscheck. His path to a title shot hit a bump in the road with a loss to another AKA member, former title challenger Jon Fitch, but Thiago rebounded with a win over Jacob Volkmann and will look to go 2-1 against AKA competition.

Swick also had his title hopes dashed in an instant in his fight with Dan Hardy at UFC 105. He was unable to do much of anything against the British star and found himself on the wrong end of a one-sided decision. Now looking to get back into the title picture and back into his former go-for-broke style, Swick will face a tough test tonight.

On paper, this fight is likely to go to a decision due to Thiago’s excellent chin and Swick’s solid submission defence. However, Swick has been rocked by punches before, including in the bout with Hardy, and Thiago clearly showed against Koscheck that his punching power is not to be messed with. He will shock the crowd once again with a big shot that ends Swick’s night.


Thiago by KO in round two.


(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)