(“Let’s see here: High kick, low kick, body kick, side check kick … yep, I think I’ve got them all scouted.” Pic: LasVegasSun)
Some three days later, I’m still not sure if it makes it better or worse that Randy Couture’s MMA career ended via insane, never-before-seen crane kick knockout. On one hand, it was certainly sad to see the legend’s body slump lifelessly to the canvas after the UFC’s resident Karate Kid blasted him in the face just a minute into the second round of their bout in Toronto. On the other hand, maybe the kick really just saved us nine more minutes of watching Couture take potshots to the face at the hands of notorious counterpuncher Lyoto Machida. It had taken just a few moments after all to realize this bout wasn’t going to go Couture’s way. All 47 of his hard-earned years were apparent as we watched “The Natural” hopelessly chase Machida around the Octagon like a dog trying to hunt down its own tail for the full extent of the first round. Granted, he didn’t look Chuck Liddell-bad or anything, but the performance was enough to confirm that it’s high time for Couture to walk away – and this time to stay gone.
It got us thinking. When you’re in the game for 14 years, compile a 19-11 career record, essentially shepherd a sport from its dark ages into the white hot light of mainstream acceptance – when you are arguably the most important athlete ever to compete in your chosen field – there are going to be a few ups and downs. In light of that and by way of career retrospective for a guy who absolutely deserves one, after the jump we give you our picks for the five greatest and five worst moments in the MMA career of Randy Couture, presented here in chronological order …