For some time now the rumors, fuelled largely by the man himself, have indicated that UFC hall-of-famer Randy Couture is close to retirement, and in a new interview he indicates that his next fight against Lyoto Machida at UFC 129 on April 30th could well be his last.

“I believe this is my last fight,” Couture tells ESPN’s Josh Gross. “I know the UFC is probably going to have other ideas, especially with acquiring Strikeforce and all that. They’re probably going to try to draw me into another fight but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I want to stick to my guns and this is the last one.”

The reality is that if Couture was to suffer a devastating loss, by knockout for instance, then more than likely given that he’s now approaching 48 years of age, that there would be strong calls for him to retire anyway. sensing that, the former multiple time UFC light-heavyweight and heavyweight champion is aiming to ensure that it’s he and he alone who who decides when it’s time to call it quits.

“I will miss the competition immensely but I want to go out on my terms,” Couture said. “I want to go out when I think it’s time to go out and not because I lost this fight or lost that fight or because I had an injury that precludes me from training the way I want to train.

“I want to make the decision on my own.”

I hope he sticks to his guns and does bow out after this fight – win, lose or draw. For a career that at times has seen almost like it was taken from the pages of a movie script, there’s no better place to end it than competing against a former champion in front of a record-breaking 55,000 fans at UFC 129.