One month to go before Megan Fox hosts "Saturday Night Live," so you've got few excuses not to check out UFC 102: Couture versus Nogueira, airing live from electric Portland, Ore.
Refresh this space for updates and armchair analysis.
12:27 a.m. ET: Nog gets the decision. He'll need automatic weapons to get out of the arena alive. If he can, a renewed Nogueira against Brock Lesnar wouldn't be unwelcome.
12:23 a.m ET: After a serious low tide, Couture winds up on top, but he won't have time to finish. They're in Oregon, right? Tack on two more rounds.
12:20 a.m. ET: Couture loses his legs when Nog connects, but he's resilient as hell and evades attempts to finish. Bad news? Nog is on top and wants a win.
12:15 a.m ET: Couture falls in Nog's guard, which is a deep end of the pool to be cooling off in. He's reversed and finds himself on his back. Nog goes for an arm triangle. Randy's up, but he needs a finish to get this fight.
12:11 a.m. ET: Nog has the combinations, but Couture is a master of dirty boxing. (Not to be confused with Foxy Boxing.) They're really banging it out. At 46, I'll be lucky not to get lightheaded after mowing my lawn. This fight is emasculating.
12:08 a.m. ET: Nog flops to his back and Couture doubles over laughing. Couture looks quick and powerful. But, oh -- Couture gets clipped and falls into a tight choke. He gets up and out of it. I think Goldberg just called them "legendary legends." God, I hope so.
12:06 a.m. ET: Buffer busts a blood vessel in his forehead introducing Nogueira. He looks like a beet in a suit.
11:59 p.m. ET: Couture steps in to a huge reception. It's Oregon: He could slap a nun on the ass and get the key to the city.
Some older people in other professions. (I looked this up earlier, so don't get all hot about me not paying attention.)
William Moore Guilford, Ph.D.: practiced medicine at age 105.
"Kentucky" Rosebud: Boxed a pro bout at age 63.
Harriet the Giant Galapagos Land Turtle: 175 years old. Faster than Butterbean.
11:56 p.m. ET: Nogueira, previously believed to be overcooked in the sport, walks to the ring unassisted.
11:50 p.m. ET: Couture works out with Tong Po in the dressing room; Nogueira wipes down a layer of sweat like he was working out in the Sahara. He knows the fight is tonight, right?
11:45 p.m. ET: Pre-taped Ed Herman and Aaron Simpson slug it out.
After getting pestered by Herman's bicycle upkicks -- like a Lamaze class gone wrong -- Simpson punches him in the face about 200 times.
The first round ends. Too bad. 201 probably would have done it.
Herman's knee is torqued, but he comes out for the second round anyway. It's unwise: Simpson catches him and his knee completely blows. The crowd utters a sympathetic "Ohhhhh," then returns to ogling the ring girls.
11:36 p.m. ET: After a feeling-out process, Jardine is laid out by a left hook. There's no figuring this guy out. He'll probably go and knock out Lyoto Machida in his next fight.
11:30 p.m. ET: Jardine enters trailed by Greg Jackson. Eventually, Jackson will corner and train everybody, and they'll just spar with headgear for admission.
11:25 p.m. ET: Keith Jardine-Thiago Silva, also known as the Fight No One Much Cares About. I struggle mightily to like Jardine, but his offense is so guttural that it's hard to expect a big finish from him. He just sort of overtakes you. Like chicken pox.
11:22 p.m. ET: To the humiliation of muffin-topped 25-year-olds everywhere, a chiseled-from-marble Couture preps in his dressing room. This is what a life depriving yourself of marshmallow Peeps gets you: a six-pack at 46.
11:19 p.m. ET: Duffee sticks a jab out, clips Hague, and then punches him in the ear a few times just to be sure. At 7 seconds, Goldberg says it's the fastest knockout in UFC history. Duffee shakes Hague's hand without even looking at him. Cold.
11:15 p.m. ET: Tim Hague and Todd Duffee; Duffee is a Brock-esque 263 pounds. Hague is no supermodel himself. At this size, you just try to hit first. Finesse is for dwarves like Mirko "Cro Cop."
11:07 p.m. ET: Rosholt is surprisingly comfortable on the feet with Leben, avoiding the typical wrestler trait of acting as a Snuggie in early fights. When he hits the ground in the third, he squeezes out an arm-triangle choke; Leben taps, but referee Yves Lavigne cruelly lets it go until Leben is twitching and gurgling like someone just dropped a toaster in his tub.
10:58 p.m. ET: Leben gets outstruck by Rosholt; Leben takes Rosholt down. Once these two remember what they're supposed to be doing, it'll be over.
10:53 p.m. ET: Oregon welcomes Leben warmly. Oregon also insists citizens cannot pump their own gas. Clearly, not people to be trusted.
10: 52 p.m. ET: Leben enters. This is his 13th bout inside the Octagon, which may mean something if you're superstitious. And clearly no fighters -- look, Georges St. Pierre is rubbing his nipples again -- clearly no fighters are.
10:49 p.m. ET: "Jake Rosholt is looking to come in and put me on my back," says Chris Leben. "Also, cute puppies find homes and people like cake."
10:46 p.m. ET: Anderson Silva is all smiles from ringside. You probably don't need a lot of English to understand what Marquardt just said. At least Maia got it to the ground.
10:45 p.m. ET: Three months of training for less than 30 seconds: Marquardt freezes Maia with a huge right hand.
10:42 p.m. ET: Marquardt enters anointed by trainer Greg Jackson, which is like being blessed by a spit-bucket-carrying Pope. He looked very dangerous in his last fight, with some Bruce Lee nonsense near the end.
10:38 p.m. ET: Nate Marquardt and Demian Maia are looking at a shot against Anderson Silva. Maia is the Mike Tyson of our area. If Tyson fought in MMA. And didn't knock people out, but submitted them on the ground. And didn't go to prison for assault. Most labored, roundabout analogy ever? Probably.
Marquardt has been on a tear lately: he's my vote for 2009's Most Improved Fighter After Suffering Extended Beating by Silva. And this is yet another reason Silva is so great: some guys, you beat them, and you demoralize them. The best thing for Fedor Emelianenko would have been if Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski had gone on tears after defeats: instead, they both wound up getting canvas rash. When Anderson beats someone, they start beating on everyone else. It's good for him.
At any rate, Marquardt should win this fight. And then he should fight Dan Henderson to really figure out what's what.
10:36 p.m. ET: An ad for UFC 103 claims Vitor Belfort's hands are some of the fastest in the division and plays a clip from a 1998 bout.
That's just messing with people.
10:32 p.m. ET: "He's looking for a reason to quit." Soszynski's corner is getting very Jonestown with the advice. Vera hits him low: Considering Alex Andrade once kneed Soszynski's package no fewer than six times (look it up), I'm not sure there's anything left to ache. The fight belongs to Vera. He's dominated everyone from the IFL. The legacy of the Seattle Tiger Sharks is in ruins.
10:26 p.m. ET: Serious problem: There is no Burger King Cam on the Web. No creepy, "Blair Witch"-style backstage footage = my interest wanes.
10:25 p.m. ET: "Have fun." Vera's corner sees this fight going Vera's way. Soszynski really doesn't have an answer for Vera's striking beyond hoping his mouthguard absorbs most of the force. This is the IFL/UFC fight we all dreaded happening.
10:17 p.m ET: Soszynski appears more excited for Bruce Buffer to be introducing him than anyone ever. Vera sets about immediately outclassing Soszynski on the feet, flicking strikes at him with impunity. If you happen to be in a bar, you may be surrounded by people around you shocked that the guy with all the tattoos is losing.
10:12 p.m. ET: Soszynski runs some sprints in the Octagon. A "Filipina," Goldberg exclaims upon Vera entering. "Filipina" is the female noun.
10:08 p.m. ET: No frosted tips for Goldberg tonight. It's like Fonzie without the leather jacket. Brandon Vera is talking up the Krzyzstof Soszynski fight. If you listen to Vera talk, you'd think he possesses the ability to levitate; watching him in action is another matter. The guy doesn't exactly have a sniper's trigger finger. Soszynski will press the action, though.
10:05 p.m. ET: The familiar, soothing sounds of Mike Goldberg, as comforting as a screeching dog on fire while simultaneously dying of rabies.
10:04 p.m. ET: Joe Rogan talks up Randy Couture, a man in dire need of publicity and respect.
10:03 p.m. ET: Maybe Oregon will sound more exciting if I use exclamation points. Live! In! Portland! Compared with the hedonism of Las Vegas, this is going to be a crowd of Quakers. All nipple slips purely unintentional.
10 p.m. ET: First newsworthy notice: The live telecast is scheduled to last until 1:30 a.m. ET, unusual for a normally three-hour block. Does that mean more preliminary footage, or is my Time-Warner affiliate full of creeps who can't tell time? Jury's out.