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Randy Couture Dominates Tim Sylvia -
Matt Hughes and Rich Franklin both Win at UFC 68

By Robert Rousseau,

UFC 68 Results

There are just some athletes in this world- MMA or otherwise- that tend to defy belief. Both Randy "The Natural" Couture and Matt Hughes are two of these kinds of sports figures.

Couture is just one of those guys you can never count out; he has always seemed to strike when we least expected it. That said, a 43 year old man that just lost twice in a row to Chuck Liddell deciding to come up in weight to face the UFC Heavyweight Champion was a lot to expect.

Hughes, on the other hand, was certainly favored against Chris Lytle. But how would he rebound from his recent loss to Georges St. Pierre? He had always done so quite well before.

Thus, two former champions had something to prove; in Couture's case, big time. Did they come through?

Well, if you read the title; then you already know. By the way, there was also this other guy that showed up to fight; a former UFC champion in his own right. You may have heard of him. His nickname is Ace.

Rich Franklin vs. Jason MacDonald

Let's put this one in perspective. Rich "Ace" Franklin has never looked as bad as he did in his recent loss to Anderson "The Spider" Silva. Of course, this had something to do with Silva's unbelievable striking skills and the Muay Thai clinch. However, that loss had as much to do with a poor game plan by Franklin than anything else ( Franklin should have immediately tried to get the fight to the ground ).

That said, many wondered how such a devastating and convincing loss would play on the former UFC Middleweight Champion's mind.

By the way: Here's the answer. Franklin is back.

In short, Franklin beat Jason "The Athlete" MacDonald to the punch nearly every time for two straight rounds while they were on their feet. Further, he showed what many seem to forget about him while on the ground.

The guy is very good there as well.

Franklin mounted MacDonald, a man that had looked damned near unbeatable on the ground against fighters like Chris Leben and Ed Herman in his two most recent bouts. There, the former UFC Middleweight Champion began raining down tons of unanswered punches. Still, MacDonald made it to the bell, showing a measure of toughness.

But when he stumbled his way back to his corner between rounds, his coaches and trainers had no choice.

They told the referee that the fight was over. MacDonald had tasted too many punches and wouldn't be able to defend himself next round.

Rich Franklin wins via TKO after round two. Afterwards, Franklin- an Ohio native- indicated that he wanted another piece of Anderson Silva which prompted the current UFC Middleweight Champion into the ring. Soon after, Franklin announced to the crowd that Dana White said they could do the eventual rematch in Ohio.

This led to a chorus of cheers.

Matt Hughes vs. Chris Lytle

It was nice to hear Hughes come in to the best entrance music for any fighter of all time. The crowd went crazy when he did.

In short, this fight went to the cards. Beyond a guillotine attempt early in the first round by Lytle that really never had a chance and a great reversal by him along the Octagon wall in the second round ( Lytle climbed up the wall with his legs while holding Hughes in a headlock to turn him over ) Lytle was pretty much controlled.

In other words, Hughes took him down at will and beyond the first round gained side control almost anytime he wanted to. That said, Lytle showed some excellent defensive skills. In short, there aren't many people that have survived once Hughes gets them in side mount.

Still, though Lytle fought off several keylock and Crucifix position attempts, in the end this was an easy decision for the judges.

Hughes wins via unanimous decision.

Randy Couture vs. Tim Sylvia

Okay, follow the logic. The last two times Randy "The Natural" Couture met up with UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Chuck Liddell, he was knocked out. This and some personal problems caused him to retire.

Thus, the only logical thing to do is return to MMA at the age of 43 against an even bigger champion in, Tim "The Maine-iac" Sylvia.



Still, to count out Couture- we've found out- is to make a big mistake. And this night would not be an exception to this rule.

Here's the skinny on this fight. It went the distance. However, Couture landed several hard overhand rights and left hooks to Sylvia's face. Sylvia, on the other hand, really didn't connect with anything of note.

Further, Couture pretty much took Tim Sylvia down at will.

Thus, the fight wasn't really even that close. Afterwards, Joe Rogan probably summed up most spectator feelings pretty accurately.

"I'm speechless. I mean, what can anybody say? Why are there even any words? There's no need for it. That was the most incredible thing that I've ever seen in my life. I've always been a huge fan of yours; I've always been impressed by you; but I'm blown away. I have nothing to say. Please talk."

To which Randy Couture replied. "Not bad for an old man."

The fact that Couture so easily won the striking battle was perhaps the most impressive part of the fight for a man that has made a career out of surprising us all.

In sum, this was a great night of fights from the first to the last. In the spirit of this, below is the rest of what happened at UFC 68: The Uprising.

Jamie Varner defeated Jason Gilliam via rear naked choke at 1:34 of round one.

Gleison Tibau defeated Jason Dent via unanimous decision.

Jon Fitch defeated Luigi Fiorvanti via rear naked choke at 3:05 of round two.

Matt Hamill defeated Rex Holman via TKO at 4:00 of round one.

Jason Lambert defeated Renato "Babalu" Sobral via TKO at 3:26 of round two.

Martin Kampmann defeated Drew McFedries via arm triangle at 4:06 of round one.

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