UFC 129 Fight Card: Randy Couture Admits Machida Fight May Be His Last

By
Nick Caron
(Featured Columnist) on March 30, 2011


One of only two men ever to win UFC championships at two separate weight classes, Randy Couture has admitted that his fight at UFC 129 against Lyoto Machida may be his last.

The former heavyweight and light heavyweight champion told the ESPN UFC Podcast that there is a “big chance” that the bout will mark the end of his legendary career.

Couture officially retired once before in a post-fight interview after being knocked out by Chuck Liddell at UFC 57 in February 2006. Nearly a year later, though, Couture made the announcement that he would be returning to the cage to face Tim Sylvia for the UFC heavyweight championship.

This time around, Couture is being a bit less direct, while still strongly leaning toward retirement.

“I’m not going to be making any official announcements,” he told the ESPN UFC Podcast. “I don’t think anybody would buy it—I already did that once!”

This confession is something that fans have been assuming was coming, but even at his age, Couture remains a high-level fighter who is capable of defeating a recent UFC light heavyweight champion like Lyoto Machida.

“I’m in terrific shape, I’m feeling confident about Lyoto and dialling into the attack and how we’re going to get our hands on him. There’s a lot of other things calling me now, and there’s a chance this is the last one.”

The 47-year-old Couture made his MMA debut at UFC 13 by defeating two opponents in one night to win the heavyweight tournament. After defeating Vitor Belfort at UFC 15, Couture went on to win the UFC Heavyweight Championship in December 1999 by defeating Maurice Smith.

In his Hall of Fame career, Couture has fought a total of 23 times inside the Octagon, including a legendary series against Chuck Liddell and a monumental defeat of Tim Sylvia to become the UFC heavyweight champion nearly 10 years after winning it the first time.

But as he nears 50-years-old, Couture admits that the daily abuse his body has taken is starting to take its toll.

“Frankly, I’m tired of grinding it out, it’s time to enjoy life,” he declared.

Many fans assumed that a victory over Machida would put Couture in the conversation for a title shot against newly crowned UFC light heavyweight champion, Jon “Bones” Jones, but Couture doesn’t seem very interested in the prospects of that fight.

“I don’t know if that’s the kind of battle that I need in this stage of my life, and it would definitely be a battle,” Couture stated.

UFC 129 will mark “Captain America’s” 24th UFC appearance, a number which will tie Matt Hughes as the most in the company’s history.

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  4. Pekin Illinois

    Im callin it ur gonna get ur ass beat UNDERSTOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Pekin Illinois

    Hey bitch randy is gonna pin ur little bitch ass against the fence n beat u beyond recognition. lights out bitch ass u always run like a lil bitch

    Pekin, illinois

  6. joão barbosa

    Lyoto, I’m training karate and MMA! You is my inspiration. Please come back to fight! GOGOGO LYOTO, I support you.

    The strength of a Brazilian is never enough.

  7. Yeah Peter, you’re right. Sonnen is an egomaniac. Lyoto, soft spoken, is not. Also, Sonnen is not a martial artist…hes from the wrestlers camp & most wreslers downplay real martial artists. Sonnen even ditzes Anderson Silva…but really who cares what Sonnen thinks? Silva beat him, anyway. Lyoto will prove himself again at UFC129. Real martial Artists display respect & dignity…& keep their egos in check…& that is why we all respect them so much…GO LYOTO !!

  8. That’s funny: “a weight class that allowed a karate guy to be champion.” I think Machida pretty much took that title from Rashad, there was no “allowing” or asking for permission. I don’t no why we should bother dignifying anything Sonnen says with an answer. The guy is a first class hypocrite and a coward (he had to use drugs to “try” and beat Silva……and still couldn’t do it, even with Silva having a injured rib!).

  9. The following insult to our man Lyoto comes from the money launderer and drug cheat Chael Sonnen. This guy has no respect and will never be a true martial artist:

    “Jon Jones is not the hot topic of 205 pounds. The hot topic that everybody should be talking about is that he’s been the champion for three weeks and not one coward at 205 has challenged him. Not one guy has called him out and said, ‘I want to fight that guy.’ If you’re all scared of a 23-year-old kid, turn your gloves in, sign your pink slip and show yourself the door.
    “The one guy they say gets to fight him comes out and says, ‘I don’t want to fight him.’ If you don’t want to fight him, go. This is a business to become champion. All these guys want to tell everyone they’re in the UFC, but they don’t want to have to carry the heavy water. Challenge Jon Jones if you’re at 205. But what do you expect from a weight class that allowed a karate guy [Lyoto Machida] to be champion.”

  10. BOOM!!

  11. Dana White is just a Hypocrite blinded by greed and a lust for more power!! other than that our favorite fighter Machida will be victorious in his bout against Randy “Old Man” Couture lol WAR MACHIDA!!!!!

  12. i think you’ll find joe rogan is actually very knowledgable about martial arts. as mentioned before, the 1st shogun fight commentary was ridiculous. shogun would kick and machida would punch his face and they only mentioned the kick. wtf was my reaction. my only question about the strikeforce takeover is regarding antitrust laws in the US, is this not a monopoly now? DW would be going back on his word re: a rematch with shogun as in his eyes, therefore it is gospel, rua won both fights. then again he said strikeforce was a joke corporation but then bought them out because their fights were getting better than the ufc’s!! :D

  13. Lyoto! I heard your remarks on MMA Bay! And I agree 100% with what you have said iv’e never seen people jump the gun and jump on the wagon so much and so quickly crazy! I hope you beat couture and if you fight your fight and style you will… Earn a shot at shogun rubber match will for the money hunters like dana white sell ppv’s! and then win back YOUR title I know you can do it ill be waiting and enjoying your success much love OSS my friend

  14. Whatever happens at UFC, Lyoto has already earned the respect for all of us martial artists…by far. His karate book is excellent. Yes, dana white does not like his style or him. Well…Lyoto can always move over to Strikeforce or even help promote Bellaters image by joining them. But Lyotos an example for other fighters… he should never take a backseat to Dana whites ego or demands…

  15. Machida and GSP. My two favourite fighters on the same card. Very excited about UFC 129.

  16. Yes, Rogan has showed admiration for Lyoto in the past but he did suffer from selective blindness during the fist Shogun fight. There was an agenda there, no doubt being pushed by that hater White. This is what makes me nervous about Zuffa aquiring Strikeforce. The little bald guy has way too much control over the UFC as it is but now that will extend to the UFC’s closest rival, Strikefore. Too much power for one guy to stay honest and objective.

  17. Yes, and considering Joe Rogan has a TaeKownDo background, he’s in no position to be slamming other traditional martial arts. I think his commentating with the second Shogun fight was under Dana White’s influence, though.

  18. No, Joe rogan has said to many times on air and admires lyoto’s style of fighting and during fights while he commentates.

  19. It seems that Dana White, and I think it is obvious that Joe Rogan, does not like Lyoto. I think that they hate that he represents Karate, and they don’t want to admit that Karate is an effective fighting system. Sure Lyoto uses a lot of different techniques, but his fighting style is pure Shotokan. I love when Lyoto performs Ashi Barai on an opponent!

  20. Well said Dr. MMA.
    Randy is a smart guy, and there is a good chance that is what he is doing. Lyoto needs to adopt Jon Jones’s philosophy and simply “fight the body, not the name” especially with someone like Couture. The Machida haters will still hate Lyoto regardless if he wins or loses, so F#%$* them! Lyoto does have a killer instinct inside of him, I’ve seen it surface before. At the end of the day, treat it like survival in the street, if you lose you die, if you win you survive and live to see another day. Couture has had is day in the sun, its time for him to move aside (or get “knocked out” to the side)and allow for the younger ones to shine.
    On another note, I like how relatively quiet Lyoto has been lately, that must make Randy wonder even more what he is “thinking”. Sometimes silence is the best response.
    OSS!

  21. What is he thinking by making that announcement before the fight? Is it to get less people cheering for Lyoto and more cheering for him (because it is his finale) and/or getting you to lighten up on him (so he doesn’t look so bad…and possibly hoping to look better than you that night). The fact is, he is hoping to make you look bad if you were to knock the F*** out of “Captain America” on his retirement day. Problem is, a humble Master like yourself might take pity and not be as amp’d up to make him look pathetic by decisively kicking his ass. This will not be good when you are trying to come out of 2 losses and also trying to log in a jaw-dropping performance. Call me paranoid, but how many of you out there think that Randy is playing mind games with Lyoto (with that announcement)? For me, that announcement just takes the gas/air out of wanting to shred/dice/kill the old man on his last day for UFC 129.

    Lyoto,
    I don’t care if Randy decides to retire after your fight…JUST DO THE JOB AND KICK HIS ASS!!! …because you need to focus on yourself and reclaim your reputation.

  22. You can’t retire on a win!, if Randy does win though I hope he gets a title shot. If Machida wins he should fight Forrest that would be an epic battle!

  23. They all say that they “feel confident” before a fight. Shogun was confident that he would beat Jones, and look how that went……
    Good luck with “getting your hands on him” Randy….

  24. William Solano

    The Dragon will spit hot fire !

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