Though he’s done it before, UFC Hall of Famer Randy “The Natural” Couture has announced his retirement from MMA. He does so on the heels of a knockout loss to fellow former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, though he had been saying during the lead up to the fight that, win or lose, he was planning on hanging them up.
Call it wishful thinking, but many people — UFC president Dana White included — just couldn’t see Couture staying away from the sport he loved prior to last Saturday night.
“No,” White told MMAFighting before UFC 129 when asked if he thought Couture would actually retire. “I’m going to go out there and say it again. I know he was chirping, he was mad at me earlier, but listen. Randy Couture, I’ve been saying it and you guys have been standing in front of me when I said it. This guy is one of the top 10 best in the world. And I think he’s one of those guys that says, ‘Yeah, I’m retiring. I’m done.’ It’s hard to do. You see Chuck Liddell. You don’t know what I went through to get Chuck Liddell to retire. And I don’t think anybody would disagree that it was time for him to retire. Who knows with this guy? I’m not saying it’s not time for him to retire but who knows? He’s such a competitor that every time there’s something out there and he says, ‘You know what? I think I can beat this guy,’ I think he’s going to come out and try to do it.”
However, following the brutal and decisive fashion in which Couture was finished, White told MMAFighting that he believes “The Natural” this time and doesn’t expect the MMA legend to step back into the cage.
“Yes. Yes, I think Randy retired, I’m sure he’ll hang it up now,” he said. “It’s been an awesome career man, and he’s an incredible human being.”