Couture, fighting at light heavyweight for the first time since 2006, edged Brandon Vera in the evening’s main event, battling through stinging body kicks to control the pace of the fight while landing occasional combinations to earn the unanimous nod.
Couture rebounded from back-to-back losses to improve to 17-10, though he’ll likely need another win to earn a shot at the winner of the upcoming rematch between 205-pound title-holder Lyoto Machida and challenger Mauricio “Shogun” Rua possible. Vera falls to 11-4 with the loss, snapping a two-fight winning streak.
In the UFC 105 co-headliner, Hardy stunned Mike Swick early then rocked him again in the second and third frames to earn a unanimous decision victory.
Hardy ups his record to 23-6 with the win, including four-straight inside the UFC to earn a shot at welterweight title-holder Georges St-Pierre early next year, while Swick had his four-fight win streak stopped in dropping to 14-3.
In other main card action, Michael Bisping rebounded with a second-round knockout of Denis Kang, Matt Brown scored a second-round knockout of James Wilks, and Ross Pearson earned a second-round TKO of Aaron Riley.
On the UFC 105 preliminary card, John Hathaway, Terry Etim, Nick Osipczak, Dennis Siver, Alexander Gustafsson, and Andre Winner all earned victories.
The complete results for UFC 105 were:
- Randy Couture def. Brandon Vera via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Dan Hardy def. Mike Swick via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Michael Bisping def. Denis Kang via TKO (strikes) — Round 2, 4:24
- Matt Brown def. James Wilks via TKO (strikes) — Round 3, 2:27
- Ross Pearson def. Aaron Riley via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) — Round 2, 4:38
- John Hathaway def. Paul Taylor via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
- Terry Etim def. Shannon Gugerty via submission (guillotine choke) — Round 2, 1:24
- Nick Osipczak def. Matthew Riddle via TKO (strikes) — Round 3, 3:53
- Dennis Siver def. Paul Kelly via TKO (strikes) — Round 2, 2:53
- Alexander Gustafsson def. Jared Hamman via knockout (punches) — Round 1, 0:41
- Andre Winner def. Rolando Delgado via knockout (punch) — Round 1, 3:22
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