MMAPayout is reporting that Couture, who wasted little time in diversifying his post-retirement portfolio is now a minority owner of the new Fight Now! TV combat sports-themed television network and will be involved with the specialty channel to an unknown degree moving forward.
Any time you watch a 47-year-old man get kicked in the face by a levitating karate master – man, if we only had a nickel for every time that happens, right? – you have to wonder how the elder statesman is going to bounce back from it. In the case of Randy Couture, he appears to be recovering nicely. Aside from a small bruise under his eye, the newly retired “Natural” seems in great spirits when he meets up with MMA30’s Dave Fara at a gala event for the Xtreme Couture GI Foundation, which seeks to raise money for wounded vets. Couture also looks fully in control of his faculties, as evidenced when he correctly uses the word “assimilate” in casual conversation.
The teeth however, were more of a problem. In the above vid, listen to Couture discuss the five-plus hours he spent at the dentist getting his pearly-white Hollywood-level choppers realigned. All that, and he even has to go back for more. Nonetheless, The Old Man is taking it in stride, relating to Fara that Lyoto Machida put in a personal phone call to him a couple of days after the fight to make sure he was OK. Couture laughs off the Steven Seagal angle, keeps right on using the word “cat” as much as possible (which is only slightly less annoying than when guys in MMA insist on calling everyone “kid”) and even comments on rumors he personally took out Osama bin Laden. “It was a long plane ride,” says Couture. So you know, (if you’ll excuse the phrase) business as usual. Now if we could just do something about the epaulets on his dress blazer …
The rest of Couture’s quotes are after the jump, followed by a bevy of other Las Vegas-based fighters making appearances to pay homage to the 14-year vet. And damn, check out the jacket on Ray Sefo at 4:15. Looking good.
(We looked and looked, but all we could find was this photo of Jim Belushi. Pic: The Fab Life)
At this rate, we’ll never be rid of this goddamn vampire. We’d hoped for a quick and quiet departure from MMA for Steven Seagal – kind of a one-off creep-and-lurk session at UFC 126 – but now that his second straight appearance in the corner of a Black House fighter has ended in a second straight front kick knockout, we don’t see that happening. While it is still totally unclear if Lyoto Machida and Anderson Silva are just fucking with us (and by extension, with him) by professing their allegiances to Seagal, this week Out for Justice himself stopped by Sherdog Radio to assure us all that this shit is deadly serious.
As part of a nearly 20-minute interview, Seagal broke down Lyoto Machida’s jumping KO of Randy Couture at last weekend’s UFC 129. You know, as much as he could without giving away all the secrets of his deadly arts. He also promised to keep working with Black House fighters on new, top-secret techniques. Worst of all, it appears he’s begun referring to Machida and Silva as “his guys.” The quotes are after the jump.
(“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 …
All praise be to Master Steven Seagal. Or Ralph Macchio. One of the two. Lyoto Machida‘s incredible jumping front-kick KO of Randy Couture at UFC 129 netted him the event’s Knockout of the Night bonus, which came out to a whopping $129,000. (See what Dana did there?) The UFC can certainly afford it, since UFC 129′s gate revenue was reportedly $12.075 million.
Also picking up $129k bonuses: Jose Aldo and Mark Hominick (Fight of the Night) for their epic five-round featherweight title bout, and Pablo Garza for his flying triangle over Yves Jabouin in the first preliminary match.
Another look at the Machida/Couture KO is after the jump. Gifs via The Destroyer88.
(Well, *somebody’s* already got the “Creep of the Night” bonus all sewn up. Pic: UFC.tv)
What will 55,000 screaming Canadians sound like? Our best guess: Loud, but polite. That politeness may well be tested prior to tonight’s main event, when California hippie Jake Shields takes the cage. The UFC – and champion Georges St. Pierre – have gone out of their way this week to cast Shields as the biggest threat yet to St. Pierre’s dominance. That in and of itself is interesting, since a year or two ago you likely wouldn’t have been able to get anyone from the UFC to admit Shields was better than guys like Josh Koscheck or Thiago Alves for any amount of money. It is truly a new day in MMA, kids. Anyways, we’ll be live with results and commentary of the PPV card beginning at 9 p.m. EST time. Don’t forget to hit refresh early and often to keep up with the latest updates.
Weigh-ins for UFC 129: St-Pierre vs. Shields went down yesterday at the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto, with all 24 fighters making weight. Well, basically. Ben Henderson hit the scales at 156.5, and was given an hour to lose that extra half-pound, which he did. Bendo didn’t look too happy being on the scale in the first place; the tough cut might be a factor in his fight against Mark Bocek. Later, Mark Hominick‘s weight was announced at 145.25. There is no one-pound allowance for UFC title fights, but the match was OK’d anyway. Possible explanations include miscommunication and the overly trusting nature of Canadians.
In other weigh-in weirdness, Lyoto Machida brought Steven Seagal with him during his face-off against Randy Couture (you can find a rather amazing photo of that moment after the jump), and Ivan Menjivar showed up with a Wolverine claw that definitely didn’t look like it came from a toy store. Just seemed kind of unsafe, that’s all.
Come back to CagePotato.com tonight for live results from the UFC 129 broadcast; remember, Spike TV prelims start at 8 p.m. ET, and the pay-per-view starts at 9.
Despite the fact that not even the guy who signs the checks believes him, Randy Couture has his story and he’s sticking to it: He’s absolutely, definitely, 100 percent retiring after UFC 129 this weekend. You know what? Through the sheer repetition of it all, we’re actually starting to think he might be serious. What you see above is Couture’s Thursday appearance on Toronto’s CP24 “Breakfast” morning show, where he reiterates that his MMA career is about to enter its final 24 hours, talks up the UFC fan expo and admits he gets a little creeped-out when fans and other fighters treat him like some kind of ageless god.
Frankly, it’s nice to see an MMA athlete get such friendly and even-handed treatment from a mainstream television show. You taking notes, American TV? Things get a little dicey there near the end, when Couture and the CP24 host disagree on exactly how awesome it is to watch the UFC in HD, but they smooth things over by giving away from some tickets to the fan expo. Oh, and maybe the best part? There are some scattered highlights of him beating up James Toney. We’d almost forgotten how goofy that was.