Sunday, 8 May 2011

Randy Couture secure in his decision to retire after UFC 129 loss to Lyoto Machida

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture has come to the end of his career, sent into retirement by a fantastic jumping crane kick from Lyoto Machida at UFC 129 in Toronto.

"The Natural" said prior to the fight that win, lose or draw the bout with Machida would be his last. Now that the fight has come and gone, Couture is content with that decision, and Saturday's result left him feeling secure in leaving the sport as an active fighter.

"There wasn't a sentimentality about it. There was kind of a sense of relief," Couture said on Sunday in comments made to Loretta Hunt at "I felt like it was the right decision long before this and I felt more secure walking out that this is the right time and the right thing for me to be doing. There was no doubt in my head."

Machida's fight-ending kick caught everyone by surprise, and Couture said it wasn't anything he'd seen before, in practice or otherwise.

"It looked like he started to throw a front kick with his left leg and kind of jumped into that crane kick thing, which comes purely from karate," said Couture. "It wasn't anything I'd seen in practice ever. I don't think anyone's seen someone do that in an MMA fight."

"I thought it was a punch. With his front kick, he'll follow up with a punch almost at the same time. We were prepared for that, so I thought I'd missed that [combination]."

Because Couture has retired before, it will be hard for some to believe that he's actually done. However, Couture was emphatic that this was his last fight, and made it clear that, while the UFC may attempt to get him back, it's not in the cards.

"Definitely, it's the last fight," he said. "I know they're going to try to throw me something and get me to come back, but it's not going to happen."

Link to Original Source Article

Penick's Analysis: I fully believe Couture that he's done. He's got two movies lined up to begin filming later this year, and at 47-years-old it was clear on Saturday night that his time is over. Machida, 15 years his junior, was just on another level throughout, and hit him with a fantastic move not seen in the UFC before. Couture's mark on the sport has been made, and he'll have a place in the telling of UFC's history forever, but this 30th fight of his will be the last one, and I don't think the UFC will be able to convince him otherwise.

[Randy Couture art by Cory Gould (c)]


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