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UFC 102 Preview

Dana White will present UFC 102 on Saturday, August 29. The Portland, Oregon event is headlined by a battle between former heavyweight champs Randy Couture and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Couture is noted for being possibly the most beloved MMA fighter of all time, and fighting far above the level you would expect from a fighter his age (he is terribly old). Nogueira is noted for taking excruciating amounts of punishment and essentially impossible to knock out or submit. It should be a fine main event. The undercard doesn't look too shabby, either.

The main story of the undercard is the return of extremely beloved fighters, including "The Dean of Mean" Keith Jardine and Chris Leben, both coming off of losses in their last appearances. Leben in particular has not fought since October of 2008, in a fight after which he tested positive for steroids.

Leben (18-5) takes on Jake Rosholt (5-1), who was recently handed his first loss by Dan Miller in February. This will be a very important fight for Leben, who is insanely popular, but his losses are beginning to pile up.

Jardine (14-5-1) will be facing off against Thiago Silva (11-1), whose only loss was against Lyoto Machida, where he looked bad, but to be fair, everyone looks bad against Machida. This is a giant test for Jardine, moreso than Leben, as this match rightly receives second billing from the top. Jardine has had several high-profile wins against the likes of Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin, but each of Jardine's big wins has been followed by an even larger loss. How will he fare against a top-level light heavyweight like Silva?

Nate Marquardt (28-8-2) will fight Demian Maia (10-0). You have to believe that this is intended as a showcase for Maia, the upcoming and undefeated fighter who has five fights in the UFC, all wins via submission. I'll be shocked if this isn't an entertaining fight.

The final match on the main card is Brandon Vera (10-3) against Krzysztof Soszynski (18-8-1), which is probably the most difficult name I've ever had to type. Soszynski has not lost a fight since August of 2007, whereas all three of Vera's losses have come within that time frame, with his most recent loss in October of last year against the aforementioned Jardine. Both men come into the fight looking to prove a point: Soszynski attempting to show UFC he should be considered for title contention, Vera trying to put his career back on track.

Preliminary card

Let's all hope the Ed Herman fight makes the PPV broadcast, because that cat is one of the most entertaining fighters in MMA.