Randy Couture is the three-time and reigning heavyweight title holder and a two-time light heavyweight champ. Meanwhile, Gabriel Gonzaga burst on the scene with a devastating knockout of Mirko Cro Cop just four months ago.
Still, UFC president Dana White has an interesting take on their matchup, set to headline UFC 74 on Aug. 25.
"I'm worried about Randy, because this guy is so nasty," White said of Gonzaga. "He's so powerful and he has so many weapons."
White, who recently posed with the two fighters for the cover of the upcoming edition of Improper Bostonian, is quick to tell a story relayed to him by UFC vice president Craig Borsari of an incident that occurred during the filming for the fight's "Countdown" show.
"There's a scene in there where Gabriel grabs an Everlast heavybag and body locks it and throws it like he's slamming it, and the top of the bag explodes. I mean, all the (expletive) comes flying out of the bag. We have to blur out the Everlast logo because they're not going to like that when he crushes their bag.
"This guy's an animal. He's the real deal."
(Catch exclusive video of Gonzaga and a Q&A with Randy Couture at www.bostonherald.com)
UFC eyes Boston
East Coast fans will get their chance to see the UFC live when the new Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., hosts an event later this year. The arena is set to open in October, just in time to be the home for the New Jersey Devils.
White's excited about the New York-area appearance, but still has his eyes on Boston, the city he used to call home.
"My dream is the Boston Garden," said White, who would have to get the fight sanctioned. "I'm serious. They're very interested and it's a matter of scheduling." ...
It's no secret that Chuck Liddell is one of White's closest friends, so was the UFC president surprised by Liddell's recent loss to Quinton "Rampage" Jackson at UFC 71 in May?
"I was shocked by the way he lost - getting knocked out in the first round," he said. "He got caught."
White, Ortiz still feuding
White's feud with light heavyweight powerhouse Tito Ortiz has taken on new proportions. Following their botched boxing match, and various exchanges of harsh words, Ortiz now says that he won't negotiate a new contract with White. He will only deal with co-owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta. Ortiz has one fight left on his current contract.
"He basically challenged me to a boxing match and then pulled out because his girlfriend (Jenna Jameson) didn't think it was a good deal," White said. "He wanted to be paid a million dollars to fight me. A million dollars. Any UFC fighter out there would come down here and gladly kick the (expletive) out of me for free.
"We'll re-sign him. At the end of the day, Tito and I don't have to like each other." Dana