UFC Hall of Famer and multiple-time, dual-division champion Randy “The Natural” Couture is going to fight fellow former champ Lyoto Machida later 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 spoke with MMAWeekly 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 making movies.
“I’m coming to the end of it, realistically,” said Couture (props to MMAMania for the transcription). “I’m enjoying the transition to making more movies. There are a few very interesting fights out there for me but realistically, at 47, the end is in sight. When that’s going to be, I don’t know. I’m taking them one at a time. I been doing that for 13 years now.
“I’m not going to say it’s the end, I’m not going to make any official announcements,” he continued. “It doesn’t make sense to do that because they’ll throw something at me that’s intriguing and interesting to me and then I’ll be right back in there and then I WILL be the Brett Favre of MMA. I did it once, I don’t think anybody’s going to buy it the second time, anyway. I think when I’m done, when I’m done fighting, I’ll just fade away.”
Couture had asked for the fight with Machida for some time, feeling that the former UFC light heavyweight champion presented some interesting challenges for him. Couture credits “The Dragon” for making the fight a reality.
“I was originally approached with a couple other fighters and they weren’t ones that I was really interested in competing against,” admitted Couture. “And then I was approached about Lyoto and I said yes right away. I think the UFC came back the next day and said, ‘Well, we don’t know if that’s a great idea. He’s coming off two losses.’ To Lyoto’s credit, he pushed for the fight. So then a couple more weeks down the road, I think after Lyoto and his camp got involved, they wanted the fight, the UFC came back to me and said, ‘Hey, Lyoto wants this fight too. We’re going to make it happen. You want to do it?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah. I’ve wanted this fight for a couple years. This is a fight I’m motivated for and excited about.'”
There has been talk of Couture going for the title one last time should he defeat Machida. While “The Natural” seemed to be open to the idea of one last title shot, he’s more than fine without it at this phase of his career.
“It’s more about the individuals and the fights. The title is certainly nice but I’ve done that and that’s not what it’s really about for me at this point. If that happens, it happens, but if it doesn’t, that’s okay, too.”
Couture and Machida square off at UFC 129: St. Pierre vs. Shields on April 30 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. You can check out Couture’s interview below.
Thanks to Mark Wayne for contributing to this article.