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UFC 91 behind the scenes

November 15, 2008 |  9:08 pm

Kim Couture is unlike most fighters’ wives. There’s no staying at home with the television off, or a continual frightened downward look at the arena floor throughout the husband’s battle.

“I don’t have any nerves, I’m there with him training every day,” Kim Couture said. “I see exactly what’s going on.”

Indeed, in a backstage meeting I had with Kim Couture early Saturday evening, she calmly talked of locker room jokes with her husband and said his heavyweight title defense tonight against Brock Lesnar, 31, is being approached as business as usual despite a near 15-month layoff.

“Randy’s fully confident in his ability, he knows how to break people,” Kim Couture said.

That’s something she’s getting better at as a women’s mixed martial arts fighter. Couture not only stages “Night of Combat” MMA shows -- her first two were in Las Vegas and one in February is destined for Southern California, she said –- she is 1-0 as a pro and is scheduled to fight Lina Kvokov on Friday at the Strikeforce show in San Jose.

“I’ve had a great camp and have great energy,” she said.

While she’s resigned to the belief UFC President Dana White will never bring a women’s match to his organization, she said female fighting is steadily building an impressive audience, as evidenced by the popularity of former Elite XC star and Xtreme Couture stablemate Gina Carano.

“The crowd digs it,” Couture said, adding that Carano may ultimately fight in her “Night of Combat” shows once Elite XC’s economic collapse is settled.

Also backstage was lightweight champion B.J. Penn, who conducted a pre-fight news conference to tout his Jan. 31 battle against welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.

“This is the biggest fight of my career,” said Penn, a Hawaiian. “I feel like I’m better than him. He’s athletic, but I believe his athleticism overshadows issues with his technique, and I have better technical skills than him.”

In action before the pay-per-view broadcast began Saturday night, welterweight Matt Brown forced Ryan Thomas to tap by second-round armbar, Mark Bocek produced a rear naked chokehold on lightweight Alvin Robinson at the 3:16 mark of the third round, and lightweight Jeremy Stephens became poised to earn knockout of the night with a crushing right uppercut that rendered Rafael dos Anjos briefly motionless in a third-round technical knockout. And Victorville’s Aaron Riley defeated Jorge Gurgel by unanimous decision.

--Lance Pugmire

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