411 Fighter Profile: Randy Couture
Posted by Dustin James on 09.09.2008
He's a UFC hall-of-famer. He's the first UFC fighter to win a championship in two separate weight divisions. His upcoming fight with Brock Lesnar is the hottest topic in MMA right now. He's your UFC heavyweight champion, he is "The Natural" Randy Couture.....
The Man, the myth, the legend...his name is Randy Couture. You can't discuss MMA without mentioning the name Randy Couture. He is a 3-time UFC heavyweight champion, a 2-time UFC light heavyweight champion, the first man to win two titles in two different weight classes in the UFC, and the fourth MMA fighter to be inducted into the UFC hall-of-fame. While his recent MMA career has been clouded by lawsuits and time off, there is no doubt in any MMA fan's minds that Randy Couture is one of the all-time best fighters in MMA history. The man has seemingly done it all. When he's not fighting he's busy running one of the best training camps in MMA called "Xtreme Couture". He's co-founder of one of the all-time greatest MMA training camps called "Team Quest". He was an excellent MMA broadcaster on UFC PPV's. Not only that, but the guy is considered a genius when it comes to predicting fights. Oh, and he recently jumped into the Hollywood scene with roles in "Redbelt" as well as "The Scorpion King 2". There is really nothing that Randy Couture hasn't done in his MMA career. Well, except for the one thing that he seemingly wants the most....a fight with #1 heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko. Join me as we take a look at the man who helped put MMA on the map, and will always be remembered by fans as the "ambassador" of MMA.
Randy Couture was born in Lynnwood, Washington on June 22, 1963. Couture had a regular childhood, but everything changed when he joined the U.S. Army in 1982. During his time in the Army, Couture took up boxing yet he never received a fight while in the Army. That wouldn't matter. Upon his discharge in 1988, Couture became a three-time Olympic team alternate and a semifinalist at the 2000 Olympic trials. He also became a three-time NCAA Division-I All-American as well as a two-time NCAA Division-I runner-up.
After earning all those accolades, Couture became an assistant wrestling coach as well as the strength and conditioning coach for Oregon State University located in Corvallis, Oregon. Couture seemingly loved coaching so much that he decided to start Team Quest with Matt "The Law" Lindland in Gresham, Oregon. Team Quest became known for the "ground and pound" style which allows fighters to utilize their wrestling ability and execute take downs, getting top position, and striking your opponent into submission or knockout.
It was here where Randy Couture's life would change forever. Couture made his professional MMA debut for the UFC on May 30, 1997 and entered a four-man heavyweight tournament at UFC 13. Couture then defeated Tony Halme and Steven Graham in the first round and won the heavyweight tournament. Couture then fought Vitor Belfort at UFC 15, with the winner earning a shot at the UFC heavyweight championship. Couture came in as an underdog against Belfort, yet finished him off via TKO in the first round in what was called a "stunning upset" by then UFC announcer Bruce Beck. Couture then went on to face Maurice Smith for the UFC heavyweight championship and defeated Smith to win his first UFC championship. The UFC hall-of-famers career had started off with a bang.
After winning the UFC heavyweight title, Couture was stripped of the belt when he couldn't come to terms with the UFC on a new contract. It was the first of many disputes between the UFC and Couture. Couture then left the United States and decided to compete for the RINGS promotion based in Japan. However, that didn't last long as Couture finally made his UFC return in 2000 at UFC 28 where he defeated Kevin Randleman for his 2nd UFC heavyweight title. This was truly the beginning of Randy Couture's UFC hall-of-fame career.......
Win, Steven Graham, TKO (strikes), Round 1, 3:13 UFC 13: Ultimate Force, Augusta, Georgia - May 30, 1997
Win, Gabriel Gonzaga, TKO (strikes, Round 3, 1:37 - Defends UFC heavyweight title UFC 74: Respect, Las Vegas, Nevada - August 25, 2007
And as an added bonus...Egypt from the Portland-based radio show "The Playhouse" gets shown a rear naked choke courtesy of Randy Couture:
Brock Lesnar. That's what the future holds for "Captain America". On November 15, 2008 Randy Couture will make his long awaited return to the UFC and finally defend his UFC heavyweight championship against the up and coming Lesnar. Couture looks to be over matched in this fight size-wise, but Couture loves going into a fight as the underdog. Just ask Tim Sylvia and Chuck Liddell (at UFC 43). If Couture can find an answer for Lesnar then sometime in 2009 he will unify his heavyweight title against the winner of the Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira/Frank Mir fight at UFC 92. The big question seems to be, will Couture get his "dream fight" against #1 heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko in the near future? One would imagine that if the UFC can't come to an agreement with Fedor's people on a possible contract, that a Couture/Fedor fight may never happen. Is Randy's legacy incomplete if he doesn't get that fight with Fedor? If you ask me, the man has already done everything he needs to do in his career to be considered a true legend in the sport of MMA. Hell, he helped bring the sport to the public eye. He is the man, the myth, the legend, "The Natural", Randy Couture.