Randy Couture has one of the most decorated histories in mixed martial arts of any fighter and now, at 47-years old, “The Natural’s” focus is shifting elsewhere. Speaking with MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani on the latest episode of The MMA Hour, Couture further explained why he is currently putting more energy into his burgeoning acting career than mixed martial arts competition.
Couture has given many interviews as of late where he has indicated that his future in the sport is waning, even considering the fact that he has won his last three bouts. Couture feels that his last three wins (over Brandon Vera, Mark Coleman, and James Toney) were not against the type of competition that would earn him a title shot and he doesn’t believe he will make it back into title contention again before his career is through.
“I think that realistically the end of me making runs at the title was a while ago,” Couture said. “I’ve had a great year. I’ve had some great fights. Not too many of them really put me in line to be a number one contender or make a run at the title. To be honest, I just don’t see myself doing that at this stage in my career.”
Couture has made no effort to hide the fact that he is currently more interested in pursuing a career as an actor than continuing to make his bones as a fighter. His role in this past Summer’s blockbuster The Expendables has opened up the door for him to land a role opposite Bruce Willis in The Setup and he will most likely be returning to his roll as Toll Road in the planned sequel to The Expendables. Couture told Helwani that he is “going to definitely focus on making some more movies and heading in that direction” and revealed how this decision has impacted his sometimes-volatile relationship with UFC President Dana White.
“I’ve had very candid discussions with [UFC president] Dana [White] about where I’m at and what I’m focused on,” Couture said. “I think he understands. I think he gets the timing of it and I think he gets where I’m at and where I’m coming from. He’s been very supportive. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have his own ideas about what he’d like me to do, but I think he’s been very understanding.”
Should “The Natural” actually be done with MMA competition this time around, his swan song will have been a first round submission win over professional boxer James Toney. Though he refrains from issuing a statement of retirement, Couture did say that he would be happy ending his career on that note.
“If that’s the way it goes, I’m absolutely happy,” Couture assured. “I’ve been having a blast. It was amazing, this last twelve months and fighting four times from August to August was incredible. Some of those fights were very memorable and they were a lot of fun to train for. So, if [Toney] was the last one, then I’m absolutely okay with that.”