(Video courtesy YouTube)
Sylvester Stallone was on Late Night with David Letterman last night and had some complimentary things to say about his The Expendables co-star Randy Couture (around the 4:09 mark).
Stallone: "You’ve got Randy Couture who’s six-time world champion."
Letterman: "Six-time world champion…mixed martial arts guy? These guys are dangerous, aren’t they?"
Stallone: "Oh my God! You know what? They don’t know their own strength. Randy kept air-mailing people into these…We shot in an old fort with solid brick walls and I would notice these stunt men hitting the walls six feet up, like ‘Crash! Boom!’ And finally, they were begging me, ‘Don’t let him touch me anymore. Seriously, I can’t take it anymore. I’m so beat up I can’t breathe straight.’ And Steve Austin’s going — you know he’s a tough guy — but he’s saying, ‘Take me out.’"
Letterman: "No, they’re the real deal."
Stallone: "And they ask me, ‘If you put all these tough guys — Dolph Lundgren and Jet Li in a room together let’s see who comes out.’ If you walked in 10 minutes later you’d see Randy Couture sitting on top of us havin’ a chocolate fudge sundae as we’re all like gone."
Letterman: "He’s the real deal."
Stallone: "Oh my God, Dave! I’m telling you."
Letterman: "What happens with these guys if things don’t go their way? What happens then?"
Stallone: "Well, you put on a dress and say ‘Can I do anything sir? I’m your waitress for the evening. We’ll give you maid service.’"
Stallone also had some glowing remarks about Brazilian fighters like Anderson Silva and Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera (who incidentally, was training for his UFC 102 fight with Couture at the time) in the behind the scenes video below.
"It’s my first time being in Brazil and I’m honored to meet such legendary fighters."
(Video courtesy YouTube/HDMovieTrailers)
The Expendables director, producer and actor says that fighters from Nogueira’s gym helped salvage filming in Brazil by filling in for actors to play soldiers after the production company were unable to locate suitable actors.
"We were casting soldiers for the dictator’s army and when I went down there all that I saw were male models. Basically it was attack of the male model here. They didn’t look like soldiers at all. I was like ‘Oh my God! What are we going to do?’ Then I thought, ‘Brazil is the hub of mixed martial arts fighting.’ So all these fighters volunteered to be in the film and it changed the whole casting process," Stallone explains. "It may not seem like much on the surface, but when the camera goes by, it senses that these men can do great harm, they’re not just actors. They’re the real deal."
Stallone, who was embroiled in a boxing vs. MMA debate with UFC president Dana White back in 2006 during his tenure as producer of NBC’s "The Contender" reality series, seems to have opened his mind to the fact that mixed martial artists require an advanced well-rounded skill set in many disciplines of combat.
"When you see two guys in the ring going at each other, it’s reminiscent of ancient Rome. These men are down there fighting just for the sake of fighting. They’re there to entertain us, but they’re really not. They’re doing something that’s just so important to them," Stallone points out. "What person has the real will to overcome something that they don’t think they can do — that they’re actually afraid of. It’s will over skill. They swallow their fear and dig down deep, and the end, it’s their heart that proves victorious much more than muscle."