Can the Natural Do it Again?

Posted: January 6, 2011 in Marketing, PR, UFC

From SI.com

Well, not too long ago I wrote a potential “g’bye” post for Randy “The Natural” Couture.  I wrote it knowing full-well you can never really consider Couture retired until he says so. (And, even then..there is the chance he’ll be back.)

After teasing the MMA world via Twitter about a possible retirement, Couture noted in recent interviews he would only consider fighting at this stage in the game if he was pitted against either Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida or LHW Champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.  Couture may get his wish. Now, according to MMA reporter Ariel Helwani, Couture has verbally agreed to a bout with Machida at UFC 129 in Toronto on April 30. The question however is – should he even take this fight?

Couture last competed in August at UFC 118, where he easily submitted former boxing champion, and buffet line regular, James Toney  with a first-round arm-triangle choke. The win extended Couture’s streak to three wins, having defeated Mark Coleman and Brandon Vera since returning to the light heavyweight division.  Machida has destroyed everything in his wake in the LHW division except in his title loss to Rua and a marginal decision loss to “Rampage” Jackson.

I will never doubt the skills of “Captain America,” the man is in better shape (and tougher) now than I will ever be.  However this match is no joke.  With 2 losses under his belt, Machida will come to the fight as a ball of fire looking to make a statement.  The Natural has been known to dominate younger, stronger fighters – but this fight could be too much for anyone.

The Iceman recently hung up his gloves for an office job in the MMA world.  Should Couture – someone who has found an interest in acting – do the same?  This fight holds many questions:

  • With a win does Couture move closer to another title run?
  • What does a win for Machida mean? If Randy isn’t considered top 10 this fight may only have pride at stake.
  • Does a loss for either fighter really help the UFC? It would not be beneficial for either fighter’s brand to take a hit.

When it comes to this fight, there is no question from the marketer in me.  I get it. Randy will always put butts in the seats so from a ticket sales perspective it makes perfect sense.  The hesitance against this match-up in me comes from my inner fandom.   If things don’t go his way, do I really want to see Randy fall after being on a hot streak? (Even if that streak wasn’t the elite of the division.) At the end of the day, The Natural is someone that all fans want to see leave on top. I don’t want to see him retire under a loss.  I still hate watching clips of his post-fight interviews after the last Liddell bout.

What do you think? Take on “The Dragon” or should Randy just move forward with movies?

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Comments
  1. Man I don’t know what to do. I really like Machida and still feel he didn’t lose to Rampage. However, you are absolutely righanon that he certainly can’t afford three straight losses. I want to see him with the belt in the future again and to start that trail he needs a win like people in hell need icewater.

    But it’s Randy. It’s Captain America. I remember Marvel Comics “Civil War” when Spider-man fought Captain America and said “He threw it at me. The symbol of the entire freaking country and he just threw it at me. What am I doing fighting him?” It’s like that. How can I not be in Captain America’s corner?

  2. […] not “Captain America.”  A true competitor, Randy Couture set out to showcase he could still shock the world and defeat a younger fighter in Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida.  Ultimately he failed in this […]

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