Randy Couture and Mark Coleman head into their UFC 109 bout with an enormous amount of criticism shot at them.
The two UFC hall of famers are 45 and 46 years of age, respectively, and talk of calling it a career is the last thing on each of their minds.
Couture does not want to hear one word of a “retirement match ,” like they do in professional wrestling. “I’m insulted that you would associate us with the WWE, first of all,” Couture told me during the UFC 109 conference call. “I don’t think there is any parallel there. I don’t know what a WWE retirement match is all about. Win or lose, I think Mark and I have a lot, still to contribute to the sport.”
If anyone knows Randy Couture, they know it takes a lot to strike a nerve. The former heavyweight and light-heavyweight champion chuckled a bit when asked the question, but made his point when commenting on how he sees the bout’s role in determining the fate of he and his opponent.
“I don’t think this is a make or break fight. We [Couture and Coleman] both have a lot of competitive spirit left in us…every time Mark and I fight, they’re gonna judge us…I don’t focus on those things. I think they’re negative things.”
The hunger and spirit of Randy Couture is undoubtedly second to none. The Greco-Roman wrestler is still on the hunt for excellence and, apparently, will continue to do so until his last dying breath.
Mark Coleman, having just come of a win over Stephan Bonnar, is equally as eager to continue his career after the fight with Couture.
“Barring a career ending injury, this won’t be my last fight…if I were to listen to the critics, I would have been retired ten years ago,” said Coleman during the same conference call.
Coleman is not about to let critics decide when and where he should hung up his gloves. The 2000 Pride Grand Prix champion opened up about people’s opinions when he said, “I’m not going to let someone else determine when I’m finished, I’ll determine that myself.”
The two fighters hold a mutual respect for each other and understand where the other is coming from. “This won’t be my last fight and I don’t think it’ll be Randy’s as well,” said Coleman. “I just want to put on a good show…and quiet the critics a little bit.”
Couture and Coleman are the living example of what UFC 109 has been dubbed —”relentless.”
UFC 109 will take place on Saturday, Feb 6 at 10PM ET/7PM PT at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV.