Not Bad for An Old Man

Posted: May 4, 2011 in UFC

From UFC.com/Getty

This Saturday marked an important day in MMA history.  The retirement of Randy “The Natural”  Couture.  Unlike many people that think he won’t stick to this, I believe that this time he really will be hanging up his gloves and shorts.  Randy had his Michael Jordan early retirement and like #23, came back and dominated the sport he loved.  Unlike Mr. Jordan, I do think Randy will keep it to one comeback.  A return to the cage at this stage does not benefit him, his legacy or his career.

At UFC 129, Couture went out like a true fighter and lost to a class act.  Many fighters knowing it was their last fight would have found a “safe” game plan in order to score points, cash a check and call it a day.  Not Couture… 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 quest but showed why fans have always loved him – he went out to win  and win decisively.  Machida hit Couture with a highlight reel KO kick, but did not gloat or stand over his fallen foe.  Machida showed the world the respect he had for Couture and what “The Natural” had done for this sport.  Much like watching Rick Franklin KO Chuck Liddell, if I have to watch a hero fall I prefer it to be against a  classy opponent and not a trash talker simply looking to build his own brand.

I wrote about Couture’s potential retirement back in October and I stand by the following:

I have to say, I would not be upset with Couture if he finally hung up his gloves for good.  Don’t get me wrong – this isn’t a slam – I love Captain America.  But the real question is, at 47 yrs old what’s left for Randy in terms of competition?  In case you live under a rock, let’s look at the accomplishments:

  • 3x Olympic team alternate (1988, 1992 and 1996); a semifinalist at the 2000 Olympic Trials
  • UFC 13 Heavyweight Tournament Winner
  • 3x UFC Heavyweight Champion
  • Oldest fighter to win a title in UFC history (43 years, 255 days)
  • 3x UFC Light heavyweight Champion
  • First UFC fighter to hold a belt in two division
  • Wins over Tito Ortiz, Vitor Belfort, Chuck Liddell, and Mark Coleman, among others
  • Already Named to the UFC Hall of Fame

With an ongoing acting career and flourishing side businesses that include Xtreme Couture gyms and various MMA/workout products and merchandise – why not enjoy his ‘golden’ years?  As much as I would love to see “The Natural” continue to defy the odds and blow Joe Rogan’s mind each PPV, I’d prefer to see him go out on the top of his career.  With his last victory over James “Lights Out until Burger King” Toney, Couture hit his last milestone – proving MMA’s worth to the boxing community.

I look forward to watching Randy in this next phase of his MMA career.  Through movies, training younger fighters and potential guest commentary on PPVs – The Natural will reach fans for many more years to come, just from the other side of the cage.

What is your favorite Randy Couture fight/moment?

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Comments
  1. Ryan says:

    I will always remember the way Tim Sylvia looked when he came out to fight Randy for the title. Sylvia was beaten before the first round ever began. He had that look on his face that my son has when he knows he is about to be disciplined. It’s not that look described by Randy during commentary – the “he just blew his wad … by that I mean” look. No, it’s the oh padizzle look.

    A close second would have to be the spanking of Tito Ortiz. That was like pouring ice water on someone’s balls.

  2. Ryan says:

    I will always remember the way Tim Sylvia looked when he came out to fight Randy for the title. Sylvia was beaten before the first round ever began. He had that look on his face that my son has when he knows he is about to be disciplined. It’s not that look described by Randy during commentary – the “he just blew his wad … by that I mean” look. No, it’s the “oh padizzle” look.

    A close second would have to be the spanking of Tito Ortiz. That was like pouring ice water on someone’s balls.

  3. […] Franklin is not “old” but he is at the tail end of an athletic career. (Not everyone can be Randy Couture.) Given the fact that he has bailed out the UFC more times than any other fighter, the fact that he […]

  4. […] I wish I had my analysis for you from Silva-Sonnen II but I was unable to watch the fight. The closest thing I’ve seen to it is the above Rocky-style painting of the beat down.  (Although for once I wish they didn’t pull country pride into it – Sonnen you’re not exactly my Captain America.) […]

  5. […] White, I’m disgusted by this entire exchange.  Former champions like Hughes, Franklin, Liddell, Couture etc – “the old guard” – would always rise to the challenge and help the UFC. Even Tito […]

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