Fresh off his dominant and sensational win over Tim Sylvia at UFC 68, UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture wants to fight top contender Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic before he gets any better inside a cage, according to the Houston Chronicle.
That's because the crux of Cro Cop's mixed martial arts experience comes inside a ring — not an Octagon.
Here's a snip:
"I'd like to fight him now before he gets his feet any wetter in the cage. I think the tactics in the Octagon are still pretty new to him, and that's maybe something I can exploit."
Couture will have to wait, however, at least until summer to "exploit" any perceived weaknesses in one of the most complete fighters in the sport today. Cro Cop will battle Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 70: "Nations Collide" on April 21.
The winner of that fight gets Couture later on this year.
For what it's worth, Cro Cop spent a little more than 240 professional seconds inside the Octagon at UFC 67, blasting through Eddie Sanchez rather easily. And, after the fight, Cro Cop did make some statements that Sanchez had a lot more room to run and hide than he was used to.
But, after what he did at the Nationwide Arena — outstriking the striker — I doubt that Couture will do much running and hiding. In fact, it's a match up that factored into his decision to come out of retirement.
Here's a snip:
"He's certainly one of the guys that made it interesting to even think about coming into the heavyweight division. That played into my decision to throw my hat into the ring at heavyweight."
Ever the gamer, Couture is already looking for an edge in his next fight. However, he's going to weather a much more ferocious storm against the Croatian than he did against the "Maine-iac."
Absent Sylvia's game were kicks, which allowed Couture to focus primarily on head movement and zinging the giant with overhand punches.
Cro Cop will without a doubt mix it up with those deadly kicks of his, which are perhaps the most efficient and deadly assets in MMA today. And, they have the same result whether or not he's in a ring or cage.
However, Couture once again sees something. He feels with all the time he spent in the eight-sided cage, he's learned a thing or two that will help him beat Cro Cop.
Far be it from me to doubt the man, especially after what he just accomplished.