Cagewriter - Mixed Martial Arts

If the UFC ever signs Fedor Emelianenko to a contract don't assume his first fight in the UFC will be for Brock Lesnar's heavyweight strap. Randy Couture sat out 15 months for several reasons: money, control issues and frustration over not getting a fight with Fedor. He hasn't forgotten the promises that were made to get him back into the promotion. Couture speaking with ESPNRadio1100's Afternoon Gridlock Show said that he deserves the first shot at Fedor before Lesnar does:

"Not only do I think I deserve a shot at him, it's kind of part of the agreement in settling our differences in coming back to the UFC, is they were going to be diligent about trying to find a way to make that fight happen."

Couture said he's not holding his breath as he quickly approaches his 46th birthday. If he doesn't get the fight against Fedor, he believes that Lesnar, just five pro fights into his MMA career, is already a very dangerous opponent for Emelianenko:

"With his physicality and athletic ability, it's just a rare thing to find a guy that size who moves the way he moves. The wrestling base is hard for a lot of guys to deal with. He's gonna be an issue for anybody."

Couture says if he beats Antonio Rodrigo Nogueria at UFC 102 on Aug. 29, he wants a second chance at Lesnar. He was surprised by Lesnar's reach and length the first time around. To beat the big guy, someone will have to negate his wrestling and move a lot more than he and Mir did in their losses.

He didn't like Lesnar's WWE behavior in the postfight but Couture was really impressed by the champ's improvement on the technical end, indicating that his size wasn't the only reason he crushed Mir:

"He played position. He made Mir carry his weight. He picked his shots, he didn't flail away. We saw a couple of leg kicks from him. We hadn't seen that in the past. He's gonna get better each and every time he gets out there."

After a short media tour in Seattle to promote UFC 102, Couture is back in Las Vegas training for his fight against Big Nog. He's carving out time next Friday to help ESPNRadio1100's 24-hour radiothon at The Palms to benefit The Caring Place of Nevada on July 24-25. Readers and listeners can bid to do an hour of radio with Couture and several other stars of the UFC. Couture's time slot is 5 p.m. PT. Dana White, Forrest Griffin, Amir Sadollah, Matt Serra, Mike Swick, Rashad Evans, Chuck Liddell, Stephan Bonnar and Octagon Girl Arianny are also up for bids. The bidding closes tomorrow night at at 5 p.m. PT.

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