“UFC 102: Couture vs. Nogueira” took place Sat., Aug. 29, 2009 at the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Ore. It was the UFC’s first event in Oregon and the crowd had to be pleased with what they saw. Without a doubt, the main event fight between legends Randy Couture and Antonio “Minotauro” Nogueira stole the show and absolutely deserve “Fight of the Night” honors if not “Fight of the Year.”
Dana White reported at the UFC 102 post-fight press conference, that tonight’s event did not sell out the Rose Garden, with a paid attendance of 16,088, but those numbers do rank in the top five for the state of Oregon. White also reported a live gate of $1.92 million.
The “Fight Night” bonuses were pretty clear cut tonight led by fight of the year candidate and main event participants Randy “The Natural” Couture and Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira. The two veterans put on a show for three rounds, proving to fight fans everywhere that both fighters still have what it takes to make a run in the Heavyweight division for years to come. For their efforts, both fighters took home $60,000 for “Fight of the Night” honors.
In a stunning performance, Nate Marquardt wasted no time in staking his claim as the number one contender in the UFC’s middleweight division, with a devastating one punch knockout of the very dangerous and previously undefeated Demian Maia in only 21 seconds. Marquardt countered a high kick by Maia just as he dropped his left hand to throw the kick, connecting flush with Maia’s chin, ending the fight almost immediately. The impressive victory earned Marquardt a cool $60,000 along with “Knockout of the Night” honors.
Jake Rosholt came into his fight with Chris Leben with fans everywhere questioning his stand up skills. Rosholt looked greatly improved on his feet, landing some very solid leg kicks, but ultimately it was his superior wrestling that put him in position for a fight ending arm triangle choke that rendered Leben unconscious, and gave Rosholt a cool $60,000 and the award for “Submission of the Night”.