During his 14-year MMA career, Randy Couture has ditched the UFC no less than three times — once in 1998 to pursue opportunities in Japan, the second time due to a short-lived retirement in 2006 following his second knockout loss to Chuck Liddell, and finally in 2007 due to a money disputes and a perceived lack of respect. Each time, the lure of competition has brought him back to his home in the Octagon. But there’s only so much a 47-year-old can take, and after a series of vague hints in recent months, it seems like Randy is preparing us for his final departure, seriously, for real this time.
“There’s a big chance this is my last fight. I’m not going to be making any official announcements, I don’t think anybody would buy it – I already did that once! But I’m in terrific shape, I’m feeling confident about Lyoto and dialling into the attack and how we’re going to get our hands on him. There’s a lot of other things calling me now, and there’s a chance this is the last one. I’ve got several other movies lined up, The Expendables 2 is coming up in September, and I’ve got my other businesses like the clothing company and the extension of the gym. Frankly, I’m tired of grinding it out, it’s time to enjoy life.”
Some fans have wondered if a win over Machida would short-track Couture to one last title-shot in the light-heavyweight division. And maybe that’s part of why Randy feels it’s a good time to exit stage left. Said Couture of reigning champ Jon Jones:
“He’s got a ton of great tools, he’s very very impressive to watch. Anytime I’m facing a guy with a wrestling background, which he has got, it makes for a much tougher fight for me. It tends to cancel out my strength, which is my own wrestling background, and then you get down to the other stuff. I don’t know if that’s the kind of battle that I need in this stage of my life, and it would definitely be a battle.”
If Randy feels it’s finally time to hang ‘em up, we have nothing but respect for him. But hell, if they can drag Royce back in…