Multiple-time, dual-division champion and UFC Hall of Famer Randy “The Natural” Couture has been officially retired from the sport of MMA (this time) for less than a month — he hung up the gloves following his second round, knockout loss to Lyoto Machida at UFC 129 late last month.
Couture maintained prior to the fight that — win, lose, or draw — he would be walking away from MMA to pursue other interests/avenues upon the conclusion of his fight with Machida and he has done just that. Couture spoke with MMAFighting.com recently, with whom he discussed what life after fighting has been like so far.
“I don’t know what a ‘retired fighter’ feels like,” Couture said. “I feel great. I’m happy where I’m at in life. I think it was the right time to stop competing. I think I’ll always train and I’ll always be working with the guys and working in the sport in some capacity, but it was the right time for me to bow out of the octagon. I know there will be some bridges to cross. I think they will try to tempt me to come back in, but I’m comfortable with my decision. It’s the right time for me.”
Comfortable though he may very well likely be, Couture admits that it’s hard for him to stifle his urge to compete when in the presence of competitors at or near an event and that he expects that to give him some trouble in the coming months.
“It’s always hard when you go to shows and you’re around fights and fighters to not get antsy, to not feel like you want to train,” he said. “Those are the real tests and challenges.”
Looking back on his career, Couture has trouble seeing it as anything less than time very well spent and, with his competitive hunger satiated, he now looks with excitement to what the future holds.
“I’ve just had an amazing run for 14 years,” said Couture. “It’s been a blast. I’m excited to have been part of all of it. I fought a bunch of tough guys. In some ways I’m excited and relieved that this chapter’s closed, and this new one is opening.”