The Washington Times - November 14, 2009, 10:10AM

    it’s a big night for fights Saturday night — the Miguel Cotto-Manny Pacquiao welterweight title fight and UFC 105, featuring a light heavyweight showdown between the great Randy Couture and Brandon Vera.
     Once again, UFC is going up against boxing, with UFC offering its 105 package free Saturday night on Spike TV, while the Cotto-Pacquiao fight is pay-per-view.
     It’s hard not pick Pacquiao. He continues to be on a remarkable rise, from the 108 pound weight class when he first started fighting to his current 145 catch weight against Cotto. To move up that much in weight and still maintain the power to knock out a Ricky Hatton, like Pacquiao did in his last fight, is impressive.
     But Cotto may be the biggest, and most powerful fighter Pacquiao has faced to date — even more than Oscar De La Hoya, who was clearly done by the time he met Pacquiao.
     Still, Cotto may be a damaged fighter after his one loss to Antonio Margarito (in which it was revealed in Margarito’s next fight that he was using an illegal hardening substance in his hand wraps). And Cotto is easy to hit, and gets cut easily as well.
     I see a good fight, but with Pacquiao coming out on top with a 10th round technical knockout, as the fight has to be stopped because Cotto is a bloody mess by then.
     As far as the Couture-Vera match, I leave all of my mixed martial arts analysis up to my advisor, my son Nick, who is very well versed in the sport. Here is his take on the fight:
    “Vera is coming off two wins and feeling confident. He is very good at throwing kicks. Couture is the seasoned veteran who also wants the belt, and every belt he has ever wanted he has gotten. He will dominate the ground game.
     “Couture will win. His wrestling is so good. All Vera has to do is throw one back kick, and Couture can catch it and take him down. Keep in mind this is a three-round fight. Couture has fought five rounders and has looked as if he could go another five rounds. Couture sucks the life out of a fighter, and is used to fighting bigger men than Vera, so I think his strength will work to his advantage in the clinches and takedowns. Couture will also put Vera on the cage and hit him until he decides to take him down.
    “Couture is coming off two losses, but he always defies the odds and he will do that Saturday night. Vera will need to watch what he does with his legs so Couture doesn’t grab him and slam him down. Also, Couture’s stand up is strong as well.”



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