"The past is gone
It went by, like dusk to dawn
Isn't that the way
Everybody's got their dues in life to pay"
With the song lyrics from Aerosmith and "Dream On" it fits Randy Couture's MMA career perfectly.
One of the names that are immediately said and automatically is linked to the UFC and what MMA is all about. He is one of the few pioneers of the sport and developed MMA to what it is today in terms of developing the learning and teachings of the sport. Randy Couture is one of those people that ignore any type of limits for their body and one of the individuals that many can relate too.
Starting at UFC 13 who knew that Couture would surmount to such accolades and championships that many have not even have come close to equaling? He was brought into the UFC not knowing how the sport will take him in at that time with not many being introduced to mixed martial arts. He stepped into that cage with a mindset he would give everything he had to push himself past the breaking point and show everybody he had what it takes to compete at the highest level possible. Who knew 14 years later, Couture would still be talked about? Below is a small preview on what he has achieved over his years in the sport.
UFC Heavyweight Championship (3x)
UFC Light Heavyweight Championship (2x)
Interim UFC Light Heavyweight championship
UFC 13 Heavyweight Tournament Winner
Fight of the Night (2x)
UFC Hall of Fame
UFC Viewer's Choice Award[UFC 58]
Most Championship reigns in UFC history (5x)
Most Championship fights in UFC history (15x)
14 years in the UFC and many more doing MMA, not many football, hockey, or even baseball players reach that length of career. And with MMA it takes a toll on your body much more quickly and careers can be finished in possibly one fight. With Randy Couture, his body doesn't seem natural unlike his nickname.
Finishing your sports career at 47 is a phenomenal feet and something that a small minimal group of people can do. Even at his age Randy Couture could probably go another 10 years with the athletic shape he is in. But with his loss against Lyoto Machida this past Saturday, he has decided to hang up the gloves once and for all.
Everybody is wondering why he is stopping after a loss and how come he isn't going to go out on a good note? People still want to see more of Randy and are throwing insults left and right on why he decided to quit after a "sub-par" showing against Machida. Putting yourself in his place and knowing when it is time to walk away, would be the smart thing to do before jumping to conclusions. Retiring from anything is a difficult situation but for athletes like him it's that much harder. Most fans look for that relation with any fighter and I think Randy had that and something that nobody else did which says something about him.
Fans always want to relate to fighters some way if they are the hated one or the one that is looked at as a hero. Couture was a hero of sorts and some made the reference to him as a super hero. With the things he does inside and out of the cage it wasn't surprising. The relationship of his fans was very well known because not only did he fight with a chip on his shoulder but had the blue collar work ethic.
With all his accomplishments and achievements Couture can look back at his career and sure "I did it for me" but that isn't him. He always refuses to let himself be the focal point and goes along with his business. He always speaks with cordial comments and doesn't get in the trash talking war, because that's not who wants to be known as.
After his fight on Saturday Randy was immediately asked is this the last fight for him? And sure enough Randy smiled (with a chipped tooth) and said "you won't see me again". With all the respect in the world he thanked Lyoto Machida and everybody else because that's how much class he had and has said in order to gain respect you have to give it.
So yes Randy Couture has retired from the sport of MMA but don't be disappointed because I'm sure he will be back very soon in some capacity. With the concentration of movies in his future you never know when a story on his life can develop into a movie and he could play himself. MMA was a big part of his life but after 14 years and the courage to step into that Octagon every few months is a testament of hard work paying off. With nothing else left to say:
Randy Couture We Thank You!