Most of us saw this one coming a mile away, but now it's official -- according to a press release sent out by the UFC, Randy Couture will be fighting Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira on August 29th for the UFC's first trip to Portland, Oregon at UFC 102.
It's fitting that this, likely one of Randy's last fights, will take place in Oregon -- the same place he founded his beginnings in a fledgling sport over twelve years ago. With everything Couture has accomplished, it's easy to forget the things he did before the UFC's popularity really exploded, but ironically, without those accomplishments, it could be said that the UFC would not be where it is today.
After his military service and run at Olympic glory, Couture joined up with his wrestling buddies Dan Henderson and Matt Lindland and together they opened a humble gym in Gresham, Oregon called Team Quest. Since its establishment in 2000, Team Quest has grown tremendously in size and scope, and this symbolic homecoming will surely strike a chord with the locals and UFC faithful alike. It's enough, I'm sure, for the UFC to sell plenty of tickets and pay-per-views, but just for extra spice, they threw Couture in there with another one of the sport's most beloved and decorated heroes.
Few fighters' careers can hold a candle to Randy's, but if there is one man on this planet deserving to stand across the Octagon from Couture, it's Nogueira. This will be a matchup of wits as much as it is style or skill and fans will finally get to see two of the sport's greatest champions test each other inside the cage.