Randy Couture recently sat down for a great three part interview with our friends over at PunchDrunkGamer.com. Here are some of the highlights from part three of their conversation:
Couture On Achieving Fame And Success:
I don’t really think about it, I’m still the same person that I’ve always been. I just kind of do what I do – I like to train in the gym and I like to work with these fighters and I like to fight. I kind of entered this sport on a whim from the wrestling world because it looked intriguing and I saw some other wrestlers doing it and the whole thing kind of just took on a whole life of its own.
There have been a lot of sacrifices. The travel and the time away from family, the celebrity [status], and the demands of this professional sport cost me a marriage. I feel very blessed now to have Kim in my life. My current wife – the love that she has and the support that she has, is amazing. Together we have taken it to another level.
But it’s a little overwhelming to be recognized everywhere you go sometimes. I’ve been stopped in airports, stopped in the grocery store… it doesn’t really matter. It’s just overwhelming at times, but when you think about it it is also kind of cool. The fans are fantastic and they just have a genuine passion and love for the sport – as do I, so we share that. So it’s not bad at all.
Now I have the opportunity to do some acting, which like fighting if you told me ten years ago that I’d be in the position that I am currently in and the notoriety that the sport has gotten I wouldn’t have believed it. Now the doors are opening for me in the acting world, and I’m trying to make the most of the opportunities I have been given. It’s pretty interesting. I joke and tell my wife “don’t pinch me.” If I’m not awake I don’t want to wake up – it’s a pretty good dream [laughs].
Couture On Being Labeled An MMA Legend:
I don’t know. I certainly don’t consider myself a legend. There have been a lot of other guys that have had fantastic fighting careers that have built this sport, educated people, and helped it grow – I’m certainly not responsible for all of that. It was nice to be inducted into [the UFC] Hall of Fame after I retired. I have to thank Dana [White] for that; it was a kind gesture on his part for putting me in there so quickly. I’m sure at some point here as soon as Chuck retires he’s going to be the next inductee, no doubt about that. But I don’t really think about all of that stuff. It’s not really something I feel I need to reflect on at this stage of things. People say it and it kind of catches me off guard because it’s not really how I look at things and how I think. I just try to kind of focus on the things in front of me and what needs to be done to both help the sport and myself continue to grow and build.
Couture On His Plans To Fight Fedor Emelianenko:
Yeah, the last quarter of 2008 I expect to be in a position to find a way to make the Fedor fight happen. I know he’s going to have competition in between, and I hope those go well for him, and the status [of the fight] remains the same as it is now. I certainly have some acting and training to do between now and then that I am excited about. I’m going to focus on those things and stay in shape and stay sharp and be ready for that fight after my contracts have expired.
Couture’s Thoughts On Fedor’s Situation:
I can’t speak for Fedor, but from the outside it appears he has kind of been caught up in PRIDE being bought out. I’m sure if he had still been fighting for PRIDE after all this time that they would have continued to throw top opponents at him. But PRIDE kind of went by the wayside and Bodog picked him up and because of the exclusivity of a lot of fighters it was hard to find notable top ranked opponents who were free to fight in another organization. It has always been a struggle with any organization that starts up is finding fighters that are marquee. He did fight [Mark] Coleman in the U.S. PRIDE here in Las Vegas, but a lot of people would say Coleman is kind of over the hill too and hasn’t really had any good performances in quite a while – but he’s still at least a dangerous opponent. But I’m sure if Fedor had his choice – and obviously he’s still being paid very, very well, but if he had his choice he would rather be challenging himself and fighting top opponents. Again, I hesitate to speak for him, but seeing him compete and the competition that he has had over the years I suspect that that is the case. I know he has expressed sincere interest in making this fight happen between him and I which tells me he’s not trying to duck anybody. The right circumstances need to come around to perpetuate him to fighting top opponents.
In some ways the promoters have tried to protect him too. They see the marketability and the star quality of the guy so they want to see him victorious then throwing him out there and risking he loses, which loses them the marquee quality he has.
Couture On Whether Or Not Fighting Fedor Is The Only Fight He Wants:
At this stage of things, yes that is the only fight I want. I think that if that fight doesn’t happen then you will see me retire. I have been competing not to win titles, but purely for the love of competition and fighting guys that I thought were interesting to fight. Out of all the guys out there right now Fedor is the guy I want to fight. Win or lose I’ll probably retire after that fight and focus on all of that other stuff. At 44 right now, I’ll be 45 when that fight happens, that will be the best fight in my opinion to go out on either way.
Couture On His Recent Reluctance To Speak About The Situation Between He And The UFC:
I didn’t really want to do any interviews that would inflame the situation or prevent me from settling with the UFC in a positive way. But the ground work has kind of been laid and now the situation is I’m not really going to settle with the UFC so it doesn’t matter. People are getting the word now though, but it’s all good.