T Nation

Thoughts on Couture's New Deal?

By now most are aware that Randy Couture is coming out of retirement to face UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia on the UFC 68 card.

On the “Inside the UFC” show last night, Couture divulged some more information on his comeback, stating that he’s signed a 4-fight, 2-year deal with UFC.

Obviously, the guy still has a passion to compete, but can he still do it at the level he was accustomed to? He was KO’d twice by Liddell and struggled against Mike VanArsdale before getting a 3rd round submission.

As has been documented on the forums, the matchup for Couture isn’t the greatest, but I think he does have a chance to win, especially if Sylvia fights as passively as he did against Arlovsky in their third and fight and against Monson. Couture even stated that the Monson fight helped solidfy his decision to return.

Obviously, the Sylvia fight is going to determine who Couture fights in the future. If he wins, then (shudder) a match-up with Cro Cop is likely.

If he loses, perhaps he drops back down to 205 and fights Tito again or Rampage or even Forrest Griffin or Keith Jardine?

Couture is one of my heroes and one of the reasons I got into MMA training. I just hope he doesn’t ruin his legacy by staying in the game too long. I’m sure UFC is paying him very well to return to the octagon, but is the money worth doing damage to one’s reputation?

I hope he wins and I am glad he is back in the ring. I have been an avid fan of the UFC and MMA for many, many years and will be for years to come. At the end of the day, MMA fighter do not (traditionally speaking) fight as often as boxers and can probably have a much longer career.

The main issue is that since the MMA is getting more and more popular by the day, the talent pool will be much greater tomorrow then is was yesterday or yesteryear. These guy do not generally carry a 40-0 type record do to the very nature of the sport and the myriad of disciplines and skill housed within each athlete.

I think he has a shot as I have not been impressed with his opponent, but in this game, one hard strike to the head can end everything extremely quick and I have seen average fighter end up with above average win just by luck and with little skill as it compared to their opponent.

He should do well and I hope he takes Sylvia as I do not think he is an impressive fighter, athlete or person, but that is just my opinion.

http://www.thefightnetwork.com/news_detail.php?nid=3019

By Randy Couture

Dear Fans,

Welcome to my first edition of what I hope will become a regular column for me here at The Fight Network with my ?Couture Chronicles.? What better way to begin my journey with you then on the night I end my year-long retirement from competing in the sport I adore ? mixed martial arts.

As many of you watched tonight on Spike TV, I officially announced my return to the Octagon to face UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia at March 3?s UFC 68 ?The Uprising,? which will be held at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

I?m sure there are a lot of questions regarding my decision, my reasons for coming back. I can tell you a year ago, I was dead serious about my retirement from the sport I?d made my name in.

Standing in the Octagon, just minutes after my second loss to UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell, I raised my gloves in the air with the intention to never step inside the cage again as a competitor.

The last year has been a miraculous one for me. Thanks to the support of you, the fans, and your unwavering faith in me, I have become a proud ambassador for the sport.

I competed in and finished my first adventure race in March: kayaking down the majestic Colorado River; trekking 40 miles through the Moab, Utah mountain terrain; rappelling some 275 feet down its side; and finishing it off with a six-mile run.

In July, I traveled some 22 hours to Iraq and experienced firsthand, the lives of the brave men and women defending our country.

I had my first speaking role in a major studio motion picture with Rob Schneider, and visited Monaco in September, training His Majesty?s personal bodyguards.

Most gratifying of all, I?ve had the opportunity to visit America from coast-to-coast, representing the sport through countless seminars and personal appearances, shaking hands with old and new MMA fans alike.

The first six months of retirement, I absolutely was happy. The divorce settled, the dust settled, and on a personal note, I felt a lot more like myself. In that time, I got to settle a lot of things that were going on with my family and my ex-wife and all this other stuff that was a huge emotional distraction for me. My wife Kim was a huge piece of getting me through that and she had her own trials and tribulations through that whole thing as well. We both supported each other and we felt like we came out the other side.

Then six months ago, a little itch came over me. Six months ago, the idea to start competing again in something became real for me and the thing I feel like I?m best at is fighting.

I definitely questioned the decision, went back-and-forth. Friends were constantly texting me, ?You need to come back and beat the giant. You need to come back and be the heavyweight champion again. You look healthier and you look like yourself again at heavyweight. Get your butt in shape and come back and beat the giant.?

Even Kim said, ?You can beat these guys. You should go back and fight Chuck Liddell or fight Tito Ortiz again. You can beat Tim Sylvia. Look at that heavyweight. You can compete with that heavyweight.? My wife was as excited about the sport and me making a comeback as anybody. Returning briefly to the spotlight to face Ronaldo ?Jacare? de Souza for a grappling match in the Professional Submission League didn?t hurt things either.

Sitting cageside at UFC 65 on November 18, with the deafening crowds at Sacramento?s Arco Arena building into delirium, I made up my mind. Watching UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia fight Jeff Monson, knowing both competitors very well, that?s really when the thought took hold and I became serious about it.

I was giving Tim the benefit of the doubt against Andrei Arlovski a few months earlier. Andrei is a very explosive fighter and with both fighters having knocked each other out, a conservative approach to a guy like Andrei was probably warranted. I thought that both guys fought the same way. They both fought not to lose rather than go out and take a risk and really get after it and fight to do something spectacular and win that championship.

Tim turned around and kind of took the same approach with Monson after he clearly dominated the first couple of rounds, not just on its feet, but by eliminating the only worry and hope Jeff had for winning the fight on the ground. Tim basically answered the question: can Sylvia go with Jeff Monson on the ground? Not only could he go with him; he had him in a triangle and everything else. I think at that point I expected Tim to show that same fervor that he showed against ?Cabbage? and Ricco Rodriguez and in some of his other fights when he was aspiring to be the heavyweight champion. He was clearly the superior striker and again, took that same conservative demeanor, not to lose, instead of trying to put an exclamation point on his performance.

I think just seeing that and analyzing that made me realize that I could get in there and I could beat these guys.

In the last few weeks, Mirko ?Cro Cop? Filipovic has come on the radar, obviously another top fighter who?d be another interesting fight. Tim?s standing there with the title and needing an opponent, and is also, I think, an interesting and formidable opponent.

It has always been about the competition for me. These are some interesting fights. These fights excite me. These fights challenge me. Even at 43 years of age, I have more things I can accomplish and more things that I can do. In my opinion, I can still compete with these guys and beat them.

Am I doing the right thing? Is this stupid? Is this another Michael Jordan-esque stunt, another pro athlete that can?t let go? I don?t feel like that. I?ve enjoyed doing commentary and all the other things that have kept me busy. I don?t think it?s a huge issue of letting go.

Hell, maybe I?m just kidding myself and Tim?s going to point it out to me. I don?t think that?s the case. I guess we?ll find out on March 3. Maybe I just don?t have it anymore and I?m just as crazy as everyone thinks I am.

If you feel this legend should stay retired, then let this ?old man? live out his glory days, at least one more time. If you believe I?ve still got in me, like I believe I do, then come along for the ride. Regardless, I will fight my heart out for you come March 3.

I just feel like I?ve got more fighting in me to do.

Visit Randy Couture?s official Web site at www.thenatural.tv, his supplement line at www.couturenutrition.com, and his clothing line at www.xtremecouture.tv

POSTED – 01/12/07

[quote]Djwlfpack wrote:
… I just hope he doesn’t ruin his legacy by staying in the game too long. I’m sure UFC is paying him very well to return to the octagon, but is the money worth doing damage to one’s reputation?[/quote]

This is my concern as well. I don’t want to see him take Ken Shamrock’s route.

Every one loves Randy. But he’s pretty stupid thinking he can beat Silva. Silva destroyed the guy who drove Randy from the heavyweight division.

[quote]DaMadMonk wrote:
http://www.thefightnetwork.com/news_detail.php?nid=3019

By Randy Couture

Dear Fans,

Welcome to my first edition of what I hope will become a regular column for me here at The Fight Network with my ?Couture Chronicles.? What better way to begin my journey with you then on the night I end my year-long retirement from competing in the sport I adore ? mixed martial arts.

As many of you watched tonight on Spike TV, I officially announced my return to the Octagon to face UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia at March 3?s UFC 68 ?The Uprising,? which will be held at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

I?m sure there are a lot of questions regarding my decision, my reasons for coming back. I can tell you a year ago, I was dead serious about my retirement from the sport I?d made my name in.

Standing in the Octagon, just minutes after my second loss to UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell, I raised my gloves in the air with the intention to never step inside the cage again as a competitor.

The last year has been a miraculous one for me. Thanks to the support of you, the fans, and your unwavering faith in me, I have become a proud ambassador for the sport.

I competed in and finished my first adventure race in March: kayaking down the majestic Colorado River; trekking 40 miles through the Moab, Utah mountain terrain; rappelling some 275 feet down its side; and finishing it off with a six-mile run.

In July, I traveled some 22 hours to Iraq and experienced firsthand, the lives of the brave men and women defending our country.

I had my first speaking role in a major studio motion picture with Rob Schneider, and visited Monaco in September, training His Majesty?s personal bodyguards.

Most gratifying of all, I?ve had the opportunity to visit America from coast-to-coast, representing the sport through countless seminars and personal appearances, shaking hands with old and new MMA fans alike.

The first six months of retirement, I absolutely was happy. The divorce settled, the dust settled, and on a personal note, I felt a lot more like myself. In that time, I got to settle a lot of things that were going on with my family and my ex-wife and all this other stuff that was a huge emotional distraction for me. My wife Kim was a huge piece of getting me through that and she had her own trials and tribulations through that whole thing as well. We both supported each other and we felt like we came out the other side.

Then six months ago, a little itch came over me. Six months ago, the idea to start competing again in something became real for me and the thing I feel like I?m best at is fighting.

I definitely questioned the decision, went back-and-forth. Friends were constantly texting me, ?You need to come back and beat the giant. You need to come back and be the heavyweight champion again. You look healthier and you look like yourself again at heavyweight. Get your butt in shape and come back and beat the giant.?

Even Kim said, ?You can beat these guys. You should go back and fight Chuck Liddell or fight Tito Ortiz again. You can beat Tim Sylvia. Look at that heavyweight. You can compete with that heavyweight.? My wife was as excited about the sport and me making a comeback as anybody. Returning briefly to the spotlight to face Ronaldo ?Jacare? de Souza for a grappling match in the Professional Submission League didn?t hurt things either.

Sitting cageside at UFC 65 on November 18, with the deafening crowds at Sacramento?s Arco Arena building into delirium, I made up my mind. Watching UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia fight Jeff Monson, knowing both competitors very well, that?s really when the thought took hold and I became serious about it.

I was giving Tim the benefit of the doubt against Andrei Arlovski a few months earlier. Andrei is a very explosive fighter and with both fighters having knocked each other out, a conservative approach to a guy like Andrei was probably warranted. I thought that both guys fought the same way. They both fought not to lose rather than go out and take a risk and really get after it and fight to do something spectacular and win that championship.

Tim turned around and kind of took the same approach with Monson after he clearly dominated the first couple of rounds, not just on its feet, but by eliminating the only worry and hope Jeff had for winning the fight on the ground. Tim basically answered the question: can Sylvia go with Jeff Monson on the ground? Not only could he go with him; he had him in a triangle and everything else. I think at that point I expected Tim to show that same fervor that he showed against ?Cabbage? and Ricco Rodriguez and in some of his other fights when he was aspiring to be the heavyweight champion. He was clearly the superior striker and again, took that same conservative demeanor, not to lose, instead of trying to put an exclamation point on his performance.

I think just seeing that and analyzing that made me realize that I could get in there and I could beat these guys.

In the last few weeks, Mirko ?Cro Cop? Filipovic has come on the radar, obviously another top fighter who?d be another interesting fight. Tim?s standing there with the title and needing an opponent, and is also, I think, an interesting and formidable opponent.

It has always been about the competition for me. These are some interesting fights. These fights excite me. These fights challenge me. Even at 43 years of age, I have more things I can accomplish and more things that I can do. In my opinion, I can still compete with these guys and beat them.

Am I doing the right thing? Is this stupid? Is this another Michael Jordan-esque stunt, another pro athlete that can?t let go? I don?t feel like that. I?ve enjoyed doing commentary and all the other things that have kept me busy. I don?t think it?s a huge issue of letting go.

Hell, maybe I?m just kidding myself and Tim?s going to point it out to me. I don?t think that?s the case. I guess we?ll find out on March 3. Maybe I just don?t have it anymore and I?m just as crazy as everyone thinks I am.

If you feel this legend should stay retired, then let this ?old man? live out his glory days, at least one more time. If you believe I?ve still got in me, like I believe I do, then come along for the ride. Regardless, I will fight my heart out for you come March 3.

I just feel like I?ve got more fighting in me to do.

Visit Randy Couture?s official Web site at www.thenatural.tv, his supplement line at www.couturenutrition.com, and his clothing line at www.xtremecouture.tv

POSTED – 01/12/07[/quote]

Great post by Randy. It’s hard not to root for the guy.

Just chiming in to say I’m rootin’ for him. I’ve met him once and he seems to be an honest, down to earth guy. I’m honestly not sure how he’ll do at the heavier weight but it will be fun to watch!

Well if he beats Sylvia I’d like to see him fight Forrest and Keith, Babalu etc.

Randy better have a tight game plan.

With any luck he can make Tim look slow and stupid.

I’ll assume this is a 5 round fight?

Lastly, I wonder who in Randy’s training camp is near Tim’s height?

I love Randy and it’s impossible not to root for the guy. He stands a good shot against Sylvia, but then I’d like to see him go back down and fight around 205. I do not want to see him fight Mirko, who is basically Chuck^2. I would also like to see some sort of “Legends match.” In the purchase of the WFA the UFC acquired Bas Rutten’s contract, which both parties have an option on. I’d love to see Bas (also 40 some years old) get back in the Octagon against Randy. Bas maybe the most popular MMA fighter in the world thanks to Youtube, so Zuffa would have to do nothing to promote him. The match would SELL and wouldn’t affect any title pictures due to the past-prime nature of the fighters, it’s a win-win.

stooopid business move

risking the brand value of your name because you miss the rush of competition … I guess looking at shamrock is not enough to knock some sense into him…

a different fighter, i would understand, but one one of the most marketable guys … i sure hope he comes out ok

Randy > Shamrock

Win or lose, everyone will still love Randy.

I think a lot of people will never understand an athlete’s spirit and love of what they do. Some people are motivated by paychecks, some by medals but a true athlete isnt gonna give a dick about any of that, or his rep, hes going to do what he loves to do as long as he can, cuz he loves it. just my 0.02