Friday, Aug. 28, 2009 | 5:03 p.m.
- Antonio Nogueira spoils Randy Couture’s homecoming
- Win over Couture proves Antonio Nogueira is still one of the best
- Randy Couture leaves Portland feeling like a winner despite loss
- Nate Marquardt makes case for title shot
- Thiago Silva makes a point to prove he's back against Keith Jardine
- Looking back at UFC 102 by the numbers:
- Classic tunes rule fighters' entrance music
- UFC 102: Breakdown and Picks
- Fighters weigh in for first ever UFC event in Portland
- Pacific Northwesterners know Randy Couture for more than his UFC career
- Randy Couture's biggest fan in his home arena will be his son
- The battle of the heavyweight greats
- Couture vs. Nogueira preview
- Nogueira not worried about facing Couture crowd
- Road blog from Portland
- Fireside chat with UFC President Dana White
- UFC looks to be heading to Vancouver
- Loss to Lyoto Machida is all the motivation Thiago Silva needs
- Keith Jardine looking for consistency, not new career
- Marquardt hopes win at UFC 102 would give him Silva
- Undefeated Demian Maia is no secret
- Gabriel Gonzaga looking to add a little excitement to his game
- Randy Couture's Muay Thai trainer more than just a masseur
- Age nothing but a number for former champs
- Home cage advantage
- Complete UFC 102 coverage
PORTLAND, Ore. — The city of Portland is ready for its UFC debut.
It was unclear what to expect after a question and answer session with Dan Henderson drew a lukewarm attendance leading up to Friday’s weigh-ins.
But by the time the fighters tipped the scales an hour later, the entire cornered-off area of the Rose Garden had filled with enthusiastic fans.
As expected, no fighter received a warmer welcome than Randy Couture, who called the city home for 14 years while he trained for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.
“In Portland and it feels good to be home,” yelled Couture, after weighing in at 220 pounds.
Couture’s opponent, Antonio Nogueira, weighed in at a light 231 pounds, a strategy he said he had purposefully used for this fight.
He was accompanied to the stage by training partner and middleweight champion Anderson Silva, who looked like he had just came from a substitute teaching job: Flannel shirt buttoned to the top, dark jeans and reading glasses.
While the crowd was loudest for Couture, there is no question that there is an incredible buzz for the middleweight contender fight between Nate Marquardt and Demian Maia.
Neither fighter hails from Portland, but both received a lot of noise Friday. When the two met to square off for photographers, they moved in so close that their foreheads touched.
Wanderlei Silva was there to accompany Maia to the stage, making his most public appearance since undergoing facial surgery earlier this month.
Other highlights/sightings included spotting WEC fighter and UFC fan Urijah Faber, who is constantly attending events with a camera glued to his hand.
Heavyweight Gabriel Gonzaga came to the stage in full fight mode, wearing his mouthpiece to the scale.
As a final question to wrap it up, Joe Rogan asked the 46-year-old Couture when would be the last time he’d tip the scales for a fight.
Couture’s answer was drowned out by the crowd’s boos who probably wouldn’t mind watching him fight forever.
Randy Couture (220) vs Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (231)
Keith Jardine (205) vs Thiago Silva (205)
Nate Marquardt (185) vs Demian Maia (185)
Brandon Vera (205) vs Krzysztof Soszynski (205)
Chris Leben (185) vs Jake Rosholt (185)
Ed Herman (185.5) vs Aaron Simpson (185)
Gabriel Gonzaga (259) vs Chris Tuchscherer (258)
Justin McCully (238) vs Mike Russow (260)
Tim Hague (263.5) vs Todd Duffee (251)
Nick Catone (185.5) vs Mark Munoz (185.5)
Marcus Aurelio (156) vs Evan Dunham (155)
Brett Okamoto can be reached at 948-7817 or email@example.com.