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UFC 102 Weigh in:

Portland looks ready for first UFC show

Fighters weigh in for Saturday’s event at the Rose Garden Arena

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Andy Samuelson

Randy Couture, center, along with his trainers (left to right) Quentin “The Dragon” Chong and Shawn Thompkins, talks with Joe Rogan during Friday’s weigh-in for UFC 102 Saturday night at the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Ore., in August.

UFC 102 Workouts

Randy Couture, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Keith Jardine and Thiago Silva work out for the media before Saturday's UFC 102 event in Portland, Oregon.

Click to enlarge photo

Randy Couture, left, faces off against Antonio Nogueira Friday after weighing in for their UFC 102 main event bout at the Rose Garden Arena.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The city of Portland is ready for its UFC debut.

It was unclear what to expect after a question and answer session with Dan Henderson drew a lukewarm attendance leading up to Friday’s weigh-ins.

But by the time the fighters tipped the scales an hour later, the entire cornered-off area of the Rose Garden had filled with enthusiastic fans.

As expected, no fighter received a warmer welcome than Randy Couture, who called the city home for 14 years while he trained for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.

“In Portland and it feels good to be home,” yelled Couture, after weighing in at 220 pounds.

Couture’s opponent, Antonio Nogueira, weighed in at a light 231 pounds, a strategy he said he had purposefully used for this fight.

He was accompanied to the stage by training partner and middleweight champion Anderson Silva, who looked like he had just came from a substitute teaching job: Flannel shirt buttoned to the top, dark jeans and reading glasses.

While the crowd was loudest for Couture, there is no question that there is an incredible buzz for the middleweight contender fight between Nate Marquardt and Demian Maia.

Neither fighter hails from Portland, but both received a lot of noise Friday. When the two met to square off for photographers, they moved in so close that their foreheads touched.

Wanderlei Silva was there to accompany Maia to the stage, making his most public appearance since undergoing facial surgery earlier this month.

Other highlights/sightings included spotting WEC fighter and UFC fan Urijah Faber, who is constantly attending events with a camera glued to his hand.

Heavyweight Gabriel Gonzaga came to the stage in full fight mode, wearing his mouthpiece to the scale.

As a final question to wrap it up, Joe Rogan asked the 46-year-old Couture when would be the last time he’d tip the scales for a fight.

Couture’s answer was drowned out by the crowd’s boos who probably wouldn’t mind watching him fight forever.

Full Results:

Randy Couture (220) vs Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (231)

Keith Jardine (205) vs Thiago Silva (205)

Nate Marquardt (185) vs Demian Maia (185)

Brandon Vera (205) vs Krzysztof Soszynski (205)

Chris Leben (185) vs Jake Rosholt (185)

Ed Herman (185.5) vs Aaron Simpson (185)

Gabriel Gonzaga (259) vs Chris Tuchscherer (258)

Justin McCully (238) vs Mike Russow (260)

Tim Hague (263.5) vs Todd Duffee (251)

Nick Catone (185.5) vs Mark Munoz (185.5)

Marcus Aurelio (156) vs Evan Dunham (155)

Brett Okamoto can be reached at 948-7817 or [email protected].

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