By Ariel Helwani, courtesy of our new content partners at MMARated.
Whether it’s his legal issues with the UFC or all the fighters competing under the Xtreme Couture banner, one might surmise that Randy Couture will one day be considered the most influential fighter to ever compete in the sport.
While everyone has had a chance to ask Couture about his issues with the UFC we tried to conduct an interview with him where we talked about everything but those problems. Sadly, we only lasted eight minutes and thirteen seconds. Oh well, it was worth a shot.
Ariel Helwani: Hey Randy, haven’t heard much about you. Been up to anything special lately?
Randy Couture: Just been cornering a lot of my fighters and doing some voiceover stuff for “The Scorpion King” movie we have coming out at the end of the summer. But I’m really excited about David Mamet’s movie “Redbelt.” Just saw the premiere and got to see the movie for the first time last Monday and I thought it came out fantastic.
By the way, that was a really poor attempt at humor on my part. Obviously, we are all well up-to-speed on everything going down in your life…
But speaking of “Redbelt,” I always thought Tim Allen’s casting in the movie was an odd choice for this kind of movie. What did you think of the job he did in the film?
He played a character named “Chet” who is an action-hero actor who everybody assumes, because of his Hollywood films, that he is a real tough guy. However, he’s really not because he’s got a lot of baggage and several other issues but I thought this was kind of a departure for him to play a little more serious character — it wasn’t a comedic role. He did a fantastic job. I thought he pulled it off great.
Anything else on the entertainment front involving you that we should know about?
Looks like Labor Day weekend “Big Stan” will be finally coming out. That’s the Rob Schneider film that I got a chance to work on two summers ago. I’m really excited about that movie. I think it’s going to be a typical Rob Schneider movie and everybody’s going to get a big kick out of it. And then obviously later this summer, August time frame, they’re saying that “The Scorpion King” will be finished up and coming out. I’ve been reading for some more parts but haven’t really landed the next gig in the acting genre but we did pitch a two-hour pilot to Spike. Kind of a military-esque drama that I will be starring in when they finish writing it and then we get to shoot it.
Will the fact that the UFC has such strong ties with Spike ruin that show’s chances of seeing the light of day?
You know, obviously Dana could get involved if he wanted to mess things up but I think if he wanted to do that he would have done it already at this point. This has already been pitched and taken on by Spike so that may be tough to do at this stage but anything’s possible.
Your book is also hitting stores this July right?
That’s right. That will be released on July 22nd with Simon and Schuster. We’re finishing up the final editing stages. I think it’s a very positive book about overcoming adversity and some of the things I have been through in my life. I think people are going to like it. I think (co-author) Loretta (Hunt) has done a marvelous job. She captured my thoughts and my feelings throughout the course of the book.
Should we expect you to elaborate a little more on why you decided to leave the UFC in the book?
It’s the final chapter in the book and there’s certainly things that we probably won’t be able to touch on because I am sure the UFC would like nothing more than to find a way to hold the book up and cause me problems but it will certainly give my perspective on what’s been going and how all this settles out.
I guess it’s now time to talk about those problems. A lot has been said about your departure from the UFC so I don’t want to recycle the same questions all over again but I am curious as to what you think about the Sylvia-Fedor rumored matchup. Honestly, are you a little disappointed that Fedor has agreed to this fight so closely to when you expected to be free from the UFC?
Tim’s no slouch. He’s a seasoned veteran and it’s still a fight. Anything can happen. I don’t think anyone is going to count Tim out. I do think everyone is expecting Fedor to beat Tim but I think it will be a great fight. It will certainly give me an idea of where I stand since I just fought Tim last March. It will be interesting to see how Fedor deals with the interesting problems Tim poses as a fighter and as competitor. I am not terribly concerned (though). Things will work out the way they work out. I will probably be free and clear sometime in July if the courts go the way we think they are going to go and whatever happens happens. I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about these things.
Did Fedor’s management team talk to you before talking to Sylvia?
Well, I know he doesn’t want to wait around. He wants to fight and make a living. He is not going to want to sit around and wait to see what happens with me. He just fought on New Year’s against Hong Man Choi and he has taken some heat for not fighting anyone in the top ten but this fight is definitely against a top ten guy in Tim Sylvia. But does the fight lose luster should Fedor lose? I don’t know, it probably changes things but I think the fans will still want to see it. They still wanted to see Wanderlei and Chuck and both guys were coming off losses.
So, for the record, you would still be interested in fighting Fedor even if he losses to Sylvia?
Yeah, I would still be interested in competing against him but, again, I want to be considered the number one heavyweight in the world but, if he loses to Tim, that piece of the puzzle kind of goes away. So then what happens? Does Tim move up and become number one? Do we need to settle it again between Tim and I? Who knows what really happens. Maybe nothing! Maybe I’ll just walk away…