On Saturday night Randy Couture became the first person to ever finish boxer James Toney inside the distance, albeit in his MMA debut, and put an end to the MMA Vs Boxing debate…for the time being at least.
It was just another milestone in ‘The Natural’s’ remarkable mixed martial arts career, but in an interview after the fight the 47 year-old hinted that his time fighting in the cage may soon draw to a close.
“I think realistically I hope to make some more movies,” Couture told MMAConnected’s Showdown Joe. “That part of my career is on the right track. I’m trying to make good decisions and pick the right roles. I’ve got a coach, I’m taking classes, I’m doing the right things there I hope. It’s an interesting business and it’s a process I’m interested in.”
With that said it looks as if his acting ambitions could conflict with his fighting commitments, a fact that is not lost on the former two-division champion of the UFC.
“I think realistically there’s going to be a rub here soon. They’re going to say ‘hey, we want you to fight this guy,’ and and I’m going to have to say, ‘hey, I got this movie part,’ and I think realistically at my age I’m going to move towards the movie parts, and that’ll probably carry me through the next ten or fifteen years of my life.”
Showdown Joe then asked the obvious question – have we seen the last of Randy Couture in the octagon? The hall-of-famer didn’t say yes, but tellingly he didn’t say no either.
“I honestly can’t answer that question. I don’t think anybody’s going to buy it if I said I’m retiring because I did that once and I came back. So, I don’t think it’ll be the official retirement of a deal, I think I’ll just fade away.”
In some ways it’s sad to hear this, but the more I think about it the more I think this would be the perfect time for him to hang up his gloves. He’s three fights unbeaten, he just had a fun fight that had the fans in raptures, and with five UFC belts in his collection he’s got nothing left to prove in the sport.
For a while now I’ve been fearing that it was only going to be a matter of time before someone connected cleanly with Couture’s weakened chin and KO’d him – a result which would more than likely have brought his career to an abrupt halt.
I’d prefer not to see him go out like that. Let him go out on a high and be remembered as one of the greatest fighters ever in the history of the sport, leaving the legend of his longevity live on unblemished, rather than face the painful decline that fellow hall-of-famer Chuck Liddell has experienced.
Despite his comments I don’t believe he’s finished with the sport just yet though. In other interviews after the fight he talked about moving back down to 205lbs, and if the UFC offers him a top contender for his next bout I don’t think he’ll be able to resist giving it a go.
I hope I’m wrong though.