Multiple-time-in-multiple-weight-classes champion Randy “The Natural” Couture is adding to the star-studded month of August for MMA by taking on boxing convert James “Lights Out” Toney this August 28th at UFC 118. Also adding to August’s jam-packed MMA schedule was UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva, who competed on August 7th at UFC 117 against Chael Sonnen and almost lost his belt before landing a hail-mary triangle choke late in the fifth round. Couture has expressed interest in fighting Silva before and, according to MMAFighting.com, fielded questions surrounding “The Spider’s” performance and addressed whether or not he is still interested in fighting the Brazilian during the UFC 118 conference call that went down earlier today.
Though he still considers Silva to be one of the best in the sport, Couture did have some criticism for “The Spider,” which he bases on Silva’s last two performances which were certainly a far cry from the brilliant dominance for which he had risen to prominence.
“I think Anderson needs to look at the spirit in which he’s competing,” said Couture. “It appears to me that he’s been doing his best not to lose. Instead of doing what he did early on and competing to win, and taking guys out, he’s doing enough now to get by, be successful and keep winning.”
“The Natural” believes that, in order to continue his reign of dominance, Silva needs to go back to his all-or-nothing roots and fight with nothing to lose. That is not to say, though, that Couture thinks Silva is no longer a threat.
“Eventually that kind of fighting attitude will catch up with you,” said Couture. “You have to kind of go out, risk it and lay it all on the line. That’s the way it is. I think Anderson has strayed away from that a little bit, but I don’t think he’s getting old at all. I think he’s still a tremendous athlete with amazing ability. You know, there were some pretty interesting things he still demonstrated in the fight against Sonnen even though most of the fight, he spent on his back and got dominated.”
Sonnen did dominate Silva for the majority of their five round title fight before succumbing to the last-ditch submission and Couture attributes that to Sonnen’s style of hard-nosed wrestling, a style which “The Natural” has long considered to be the one with which to defeat “The Spider.”
“I’ve said all along the guy that’s going to give Anderson Silva fits is the guy with that tenacious wrestling style,” he said. “Danny Henderson had that ability, stole a round from Anderson when they fought, and kind of strayed away from that game plan and got to slinging gloves with Anderson, which I think is always a bad idea.”
Although he has proven the ability to still be able to hang with and defeat the best in the game, at 47 years old, Couture is not much longer for the sport of MMA. That is why he has expressed a desire to only fight interesting fights or fights that will get him closer to one more title shot. One of those interesting fights, he believes, is still against Anderson Silva.
“I’ve said a number of times when asked if I’d like to fight Anderson that that would be a great fight,” Couture said. “I think that I’d do well against him. He’s a very graceful, amazing athlete, and one of the best guys in our sport. Those are definitely the kind of guys you want to fight.”