02-11-2010 05:20 PM: How can Randy Couture still be excited to train and learn at 46-years-old? It's obviously been a challenge for Chuck Liddell, one of his contemporaries. Variety is the spice of life for the older Couture. His breath of fresh air came in grappling coach Neil Melanson. Clearly, it worked in preparation for the Mark Coleman fight as Couture went out and smashed "The Hammer" inside of seven minutes. As a grappler and mauler, Couture looks better than ever so Melanson can't understand why Dana White is being ripped for claiming that his guy is top five at light heavyweight (6:15 mark). "Randy is definitely a top five fighter," Melanson told Cagewriter. "Randy can compete with any of them. And now that he's looking for submissions, he can stop that fight." Melanson was quick to add that title fights are the true test of one's stamina and willingness to fight through adversity. "If you want to talk about title contention, Randy is the ultimate five-round fighter. He is, period. For most fighters they're not five-round fighters. They've got 25 minutes with Couture." Melanson gave lots of credit to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Brandon Vera for being more than a handful for Couture. The crew of Melanson devotees continues to grow. Chael Sonnen, who only worked with Melanson for a few days before UFC 109, swore by him. Melanson's strong suit is working from the bottom but if the fighter is on the top the goal is to get your opponent to turtle. Sonnen did exactly that with Marquardt and administered a beating. Melanson's philosophies have Couture working harder than ever. The coach also pointed out that Couture lost a lot more often than he won during grappling sessions in the lead up to UFC 109. Check out the rest of the interview where Melanson describes why his knowledge of offense from the bottom serves as grappler's antidote against submission fighters. The big guy's base comes from working out of Gokor Chivichyan's gym in Southern California. Melanson called it a leg breaker's gym, where on more than one occasion Karo Parisyan brutalized him. More... Yahoo! Sports. Cagewriter is an MMA blog edited by Steve Cofield.