UFC Hall of Famer and multiple-time, dual-division champion Randy “The Natural” Couture is going to fight fellow former champ Lyoto Machida this month at UFC 129, and there is a solid possibility that it will be the last time that the 47-year old fan favorite goes to work in the cage.
Couture recently appeared on the ESPN UFC Podcast to discuss his impending bout with Machida and he also revealed his likely plans to hang up the gloves after the fight in order to relax and focus on other, less demanding pursuits.
“There’s a big chance this is my last fight,” Couture said. “I’m not going to be making any official announcements, I don’t think anybody would buy it – I already did that once! But I’m in terrific shape, I’m feeling confident about Lyoto and dialling into the attack and how we’re going to get our hands on him. There’s a lot of other things calling me now, and there’s a chance this is the last one. I’ve got several other movies lined up, The Expendables 2 is coming up in September, and I’ve got my other businesses like the clothing company and the extension of the gym.
“Frankly, I’m tired of grinding it out, it’s time to enjoy life.”
There has been talk of Couture going for the title one last time should he defeat Machida in April, but “The Natural” honestly told ESPN that current champ Jonny “Bones” Jones may pose more challenges than he is willing to try to overcome at in the autumn phase of his career.
“He’s got a ton of great tools, he’s very very impressive to watch,” Couture said in reference to Jones. “Anytime I’m facing a guy with a wrestling background, which he has got, it makes for a much tougher fight for me. It tends to cancel out my strength, which is my own wrestling background, and then you get down to the other stuff.
“I don’t know if that’s the kind of battle that I need in this stage of my life, and it would definitely be a battle.”
Couture and Machida square off at UFC 129: St. Pierre vs. Shields on April 30 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.