Re: Who do you rank higher at heavyweight: Werdum or Couture?
Kit, I think some of this comes from when we became fans of this sport. I became a fan back in 1994, after watching the first 3 events on vhs. UFC V was the first event I ordered on ppv, and I've ordered most of the events since.
I assume you are a more recent follower. I don't say this to belittle you, because it isn't hard to catch up. All you have to do is watch the videos. I feel like there are numerous posters that are younger than me, that have followed the sport for fewer years, and still know way more about it than I do.
My point is that some of my rankings have been set for years, and someone has to come along and take a spot from someone I've had positioned there for years. Couture has been occupying a higher ranking in my mind for longer than I've known about Werdum. That means Werdum would have to come along and do something to take that ranking from Couture.
I believe you are learning about these fighters a little more recently, and your opinion of them shows it. That's not a bad thing. It's good to have fresh eyes to break up nostalgia from time to time. To be honest with you, I wouldn't have even been thinking about Werdum in an all time sense had you not brought it up.
So, Couture may be holding his spot on my list due to seniority, but that isn't the only reason. Couture came along when the sport was still new, and it would be hard to understand how big some of his wins were without going back and just watching the UFC's in the order that they came along. Belfort was favored to beat Couture when they first fought. The victory over Jeremy Horn was a win over a named fighter. Not many talk about Rizzo today, but that was a big name at the time. Rizzo beat Coleman and Barnett. Barnett is someone that I've ranked ahead of Randy for years, so the Rizzo win over him is a big deal for me. Barnett didn't avenge that loss for years, and really too much time had passed for it to mean much. Rizzo also beat Arlovski and Ricco.
Maurice Smith doesn't look as big in hindsight, but it was very big at the time. Smith had just defeated Coleman when Coleman looked unstoppable. It's hard to understand that fight now, as the rules have changed so much. Coleman probably would have won had that fight been fought under today's rules. There were no rounds, nor stand-ups, for that fight. Just 30 minutes, with a 5 minute overtime. Coleman had Smith down for a long time. There was so much excitement when Smith got back to his feet, because that was not given to him. Smith fought his way back to standing. Anyway... Smith also had 3 or 4 times the amount of mma fights as Couture when they fought, but Couture's edge in grappling more than made up for the difference in mma experience. Smith also had wins over Tank, which meant a little more then, and Ruas. The Ruas win meant more back then as well.
You also have to remember how important Couture's fight with Sylvia was. Sylvia was the UFC champion riding a 6 fight win streak. Couture was a 43 year old man, returning to the heavyweight division after nearly 5 years at 205. Couture dominated Sylvia the entire fight. It was 25 minutes of near flawless execution. Then, Couture went on to defend against Gonzaga, who had nearly decapitated Cro Cop in his previous fight. Randy looked great again.
Then you also have to take in Randy's success at 205. It doesn't have a direct effect on his heavyweight resume, but it still demonstrates his quality as a fighter in mma. It's not like he was competing in a different sport, just at a different size.
I'm sure I'll have many fighters to surpass Randy on my list in the future. His place is no where near a secure as Fedor's or Nog's. It still has to be for good reasons, though.