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Randy Couture Talks Solving Machida Puzzle, Fighting “Shogun” For The Belt

UFC Hall of Famer Randy “The Natural” Couture’s career seemed all but over, as he has publicly indicated on several occasions over the past few months that he would be focusing more on his acting career than his fighting career from here on out, unless an unlikely title shot against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua or an otherwise intriguing bout presented itself in the near future.

MMA fans breathed a collective sigh of relief when it was announced following UFC 125 that Couture would be returning to the cage for at least one more battle, against one of his most desired opponents in Lyoto Machida.

“There’s really only one or two fights that I wanted; that I would consider stepping back in there,” Couture recently told MMA:30. “Lyoto was definitely one of those. Style-wise the two guys I’ve been watching and see myself matching up against was Lyoto or ‘Shogun.’ I didn’t really see them giving me a title shot right out of the gate.”

Couture has expressed his interest in fighting the Brazilian karateka for some time now, and he believes that his gritty, tactical approach to fighting makes him a dangerous opponent for “The Dragon.”

“You have to get to him for sure,” said “The Natural.” “You have to be able to cut him off and I obviously like to use the fence and the barrier. I think you saw what ‘Shogun’ did both times he fought him. I thought he won the first fight too, although it was very, very close.”

He added, “I think my style in general is going to be interesting. He is that Rubik’s Cube, you gotta kind of figure him out, get all the colors to match.”

Along with Machida, current champ “Shogun” Rua resides squarely at the top of Couture’s wish list. “The Natural” told MMA:30 that he is willing to stick around for a shot at Rua after the Machida bout, provided he emerge the victor and Rua holds on to his belt after fighting Rashad Evans this spring.

“I am interested in fighting ‘Shogun,’ if he retains the title; that’s icing on the cake,” said Couture. “He’s got his hands full with Rashad, no question about that. We’ll see how that fight comes out, and we’ll make a decision then, if it becomes a reality.”

Retiring champion would provide a storybook ending to Couture’s legendary career, and it’s a scenario that he isn’t afraid to say he would like to see play out.

In his words: “That would be a nice way to go.”