OK, before we all start dumping Haterade on Randy Couture, let us state for the record that in the following new video interview with Steve Cofield he still sounds pretty certain he’ll be retiring after UFC 129. In fact, Couture seems a little bit pissed off at this point that people keep asking him about it. Chalk it up to run-of-the-mill fight-week orneriness maybe, but we think we detect a slight edge creeping into “The Natural’s” voice when Cofield claims “one of his media buddies” got a text from Dana White that sums up Couture’s plan to call it quits after this weekend’s fight with Lyoto Machida by saying: “Retire? Not if he wins.”
“It doesn’t matter if I win or not,” Couture sort of snaps. “I know them, I know Dana. He’s got plans already and it doesn’t matter to me. He’s going to really have to step up if he thinks I’m going to come back out (of retirement). I don’t think that’s going to happen. There’s a lot of younger guys … Jon Jones is the perfect example. They offered me that fight in the fall. Nobody wants to fight that cat right now. I don’t see that battle in my future.”
Huh. Very interesting. Indeed, Couture is still adamant he’ll be walking away (again) after this weekend. Yet considering what we know about his past, even that tiny little hint that the UFC could coax him back into the Octagon if it unloads a dump truck of money in his driveway makes us hear echoes of Lloyd Christmas deep in the recesses of our cynical little mindbrains: “So, you’re telling me there’s a chance.” The vid itself, which is full of interesting tidbits, is after the jump.
“When you say ‘step up,’ is that money? Is it future consideration? What is that?” Cofield asks after Couture makes the sort of cryptic statements above.
“What,” increasingly exasperated Randy says, “they’re gonna offer me a 10-fight deal? I don’t know what they’re going to offer me. It’s not about titles, it’s not about belts. I’ve done everything there is to do in this sport and I’ve had a blast (during) the 14 years I’ve been doing it. I think now is the time to move on.”
“I hate to keep hounding at it,” Cofield says (no he doesn’t), before asking a few follow-ups.
Frankly, a lot of things pique our interest here. First of all, it’s been our theory for some time that A) If Couture defeated Machida (he’s more than a 2-1 underdog, as we speak) the UFC would try to book him in one last big-money title match. Kind of like when the Mel Gibson character shows up and fucks up Danny Glover’s retirement plans in the original “Lethal Weapon.” And B) They’d love for him to fight Jon Jones in sort of a torch-passing, ritualistic sacrifice kind of thing.
The fact that Couture has allegedly already turned down a fight with Jones means that The Old Man is even cagier than we thought. And the UFC is just as mean. I mean, seriously? They’d risk making Couture the first death in the Octagon just for the guaranteed 800K PPV buys a fight with Jones would bring in? Stop lying to yourself. You know they would.
With Cofield’s retirement questions fended off, Randy goes on to discuss at length his desire to continue and expand his acting career. That part actually makes us feel kind of bad for him, especially when he contends that his breakout role is still out there waiting for him. He even goes as far as to reference The Rock’s star turn as a homosexual tough guy in one of those interminable Elmore Leonard sequels as evidence that he could also make the jump from athlete-actor to actor-actor.
Damn playa, please tell us you have a fallback if this acting thing doesn’t pan out.