Spotlight on Legends at UFC 109 Aging Vets Showdown to Relive Past Glories
Preview by Brady Crytzer
There is nothing more difficult to watch than an aging champion battling two opponents at once. At UFC 105, the MMA world watched as former heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Randy Couture struggled against both Brandon “The Truth” Vera and Father Time. While Couture came out on top in November, his aging comrades weren’t so lucky. Although Mark Coleman, Frank Trigg, and Matt Serra have shown signs of aging in their most recent Octagon outings, the UFC has finally allowed for these living legends to truly showcase their skills . . . by matching them up against each other.
There is something to be said about the staying power of future hall of famers still competing in active MMA competition. In his 2009 return to the UFC, Mark “The Hammer” Coleman went above and beyond his expected call of duty by giving the young upstart Mauricio “Shogun” Rua all he could handle for three rounds. Though Coleman was stopped midway through round three, it was safe to say that the former Pride Grand Prix champion still had some fight left in him.
But, as evident in the outcome of the fight, sometimes no amount of experience can make up for a ten year age difference.
Case in point, Frank Trigg made his Octagon return at UFC 103 in October. By all accounts the former title challenger appeared to be taking his last chance seriously as evident by his commitment to returning to the 170 lb. weight limit for the first time in almost four years. However big of a milestone his welterweight return was, he still had to face off with rising star Josh Koscheck.
It was no surprise that he was stopped in less than ninety seconds.
Matt Serra, who will face Trigg in a co-feature at UFC 109, also appeared to be fighting on borrowed time. At the age of 35, Serra was thoroughly dismantled by Georges St. Pierre in the pound for pound great’s homecity of Montreal. With little hope of title contention left in “The Terra’s” future, UFC officials created a welterweight grudge match against Matt Hughes with surprising results.
Though both men were well past their prime and were barely treading water in a sea of bloodthirsty 170 pound sharks, fans went wild for the Serra-Hughes bout. Officials could conclude only one thing after the Hughes decision victory.
These old dogs still have a few tricks, and there is a still a home for them in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Let’s not kid ourselves here; we won’t be seeing Serra challenging St. Pierre in a rubber match any time soon. Mark Coleman probably won’t be placed in the pound for pound list in the near future and Randy Couture won’t be going five rounds with anymore heavyweight champions. Does that mean however that we can’t cheer on these relics from the Golden Age of MMA? Absolutely not.
Some images remain burned in the psyche of MMA fans forever. It is difficult to close your eyes and not picture an overjoyed Coleman bouncing off the ring ropes after winning the Pride Grand Prix or Randy Couture delivering a well earned spanking to Tito Ortiz. Matt Serra punched his ticket to the UFC Hall of Fame by delivering the biggest upset in the history of the sport and Trigg for nearly achieving one.
We are all here because of the memorable moments that these men have given us over the years, and we should all be gracious to watch them take to the cage one more time.
I’m not claiming that the UFC should have a senior tour, but this is one fan that wouldn’t complain if it happened.
Good luck, gentlemen. Thanks for the memories.