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[UFC]Randy Couture Un-Retiring?


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Randy "The Natural" Couture will be appearing on the new weekly UFC series, "Inside the UFC" on Spike TV, this coming Thursday.

According to commercials and advertisements for this week's episode, Couture will drop a bombshell announcement on the show. Early speculation has him coming out of retirement to compete again in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Whether or not Couture will come back at 205 lbs., or come out of retirement at his old home of Heavyweight - or return to fighting at all, remains to be determined.

We'll find out this Thursday night on "Inside the UFC" on Spike TV, beginning at Midnight eastern time.

Source: MMANews.com

How good is that news, i hope this is true. He seems to still be in amazing shape.

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Woah this is pretty big news...I hope he comes back...he sorta retired when I started to get into UFC so didnt see the best of him....on a sidenote Kriz I watched a video last night of Crocop against Bob Sapp and he knocked out Sapp with one punch...I was like oh yeah thats the stuff!!! :D

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Woah this is pretty big news...I hope he comes back...he sorta retired when I started to get into UFC so didnt see the best of him....on a sidenote Kriz I watched a video last night of Crocop against Bob Sapp and he knocked out Sapp with one punch...I was like oh yeah thats the stuff!!! :D

Oh yes, ive watched that many a time. Bit of a delayed reaction though from Sapp.

Just shows how much of a beast Cro Cop is doesnt it.

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On the last PPV (which was outstanding), when Couture was giving some commentary, an off-the-cuff remark was made that essentially referred to him coming out of retirement, but they quickly said that was something to be discussed at a later date.

Personally, I'd *LOVE* for him to come back at 205 and make a run for the lh belt. Chuck is great, but damn, the dude has had the belt for too long. Then again...Cro Cop might take care of that situation as well.

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On the last PPV (which was outstanding), when Couture was giving some commentary, an off-the-cuff remark was made that essentially referred to him coming out of retirement, but they quickly said that was something to be discussed at a later date.

Personally, I'd *LOVE* for him to come back at 205 and make a run for the lh belt. Chuck is great, but damn, the dude has had the belt for too long. Then again...Cro Cop might take care of that situation as well.

If Cro Cop dropped down to Light Heavyweight then Liddell might have something to worry about. But for now Cro Cop is a heavyweight, i doubt he would even have to lose that much to drop down, he isnt a huge heavyweight.

There was talk of Couture fighting Ortiz, but that was only if Ortiz beat Liddell.

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I was wondering what Ortiz could do now after he lost his title chance so maybe he could fight the returning Couture...donno it would be interesting to see what could happen if he does return to the octagon.

Sapp was giving it to him wasnt he Kriz and then one punch *5 secs* falls over and crawls up like a baby...Cro Cop ownz!!!

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I was wondering what Ortiz could do now after he lost his title chance so maybe he could fight the returning Couture...donno it would be interesting to see what could happen if he does return to the octagon.

Sapp was giving it to him wasnt he Kriz and then one punch *5 secs* falls over and crawls up like a baby...Cro Cop ownz!!!

Yeah, Sapp is such an animal. I dont think Cro Cop ever had anyone come full on at him like that, so it took him a while to get used to his style.

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Yeah, Sapp is such an animal. I dont think Cro Cop ever had anyone come full on at him like that, so it took him a while to get used to his style.

I had to laugh the other day when I read TNA were in discussions with bringing Bob Sapp to their company...I can see it now Joe vs Sapp...that would be a muscle fest...lol

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That?s what former heavyweight champion Max Schmeling said shortly before facing the apparently invincible ?Brown Bomber?, Joe Louis, for the first time in 1936. What he saw in the flawless knockout artist was something only another fighter would notice ? Louis? tendency to drop his left hand after jabbing, leaving him open to a right cross.

Schmeling would capitalize on this flaw and stun the boxing world, knocking out Louis in the 12th round and rejuvenating a career that most observers thought was finished.

Former UFC light heavyweight and two-time heavyweight champion Randy Couture - firmly settled in retirement ? also saw something when he watched the current heavyweight king, 6 foot 8 Tim Sylvia, battle 5 foot 9 Jeff Monson last November. No, it wasn?t a technical glitch in what ?The Maine-iac? was doing in the Octagon that night (and if it was, he wouldn?t be telling us), but rather an attitude that made ?The Natural? rethink life on the sidelines and announce his return to active competition to face Sylvia at UFC 68 in Columbus, Ohio on March 3rd.

?I definitely think watching that fight solidified my feeling that coming back at heavyweight rather than light heavyweight is what I wanted to do,? said Couture, who retired after his second loss to light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell in February of 2006. ?And more than a technical thing that I saw was just Tim?s attitude in entering that fight. And I think it started with the (third) Andrei Arlovski fight. Giving him the benefit of the doubt against Arlovski, as explosive as he is, and both guys kinda having knockouts, you expect maybe a little more conservative performance in that situation. But then to see it again with Jeff, when he clearly had Jeff in trouble and was the better fighter that day, and dealt with him not only on his feet but on the ground, I thought Tim could have showed the burning desire that got him the championship in the first place and stepped up and won that fight decisively, and he just didn?t do that. Not to criticize anybody, they?re both great competitors and Tim?s a friend and I like him, but that really has nothing to do with it.?

For Couture, what this comeback revolves around is not only a return to the sport he loves as a participant, but having a chance to make history as well as the first man to win the heavyweight title three times. Are there going to be doubters? Absolutely. But then again, ?The Natural? has made a career of silencing his critics, whether it was his first big UFC win over seemingly unbeatable Vitor Belfort in 1997, or his reinvention as a light heavyweight in 2003 after losing back to back heavyweight bouts to Josh Barnett and Ricco Rodriguez.

But why come back now at 43 years old, when he has already been inducted in the UFC Hall of Fame, has a new wife, a new gig as a UFC commentator, and a seemingly endless string of possibilities for life after fighting?

?I just think that while I?m still physically capable of beating these guys and competing, it seems like the right time,? he said. ?I went through a nasty divorce the last couple of years, got all that stuff settled, and emotionally and spiritually I came out the other side and feel a lot more like myself. I felt like it was time to get back into competition, starting with the grappling tournament (in November) in the PSL (Professional Submission League). It went well and I felt good in that, and I was thinking about fighting again for quite a while, and I was just waiting for the right opportunity. This opportunity came up, and I jumped on it.?

And while most fighters wait a few years before announcing comebacks, Couture?s itch to compete again came fast, something that wasn?t helped by being around the fight game on an almost daily basis.

?It?s hard to be around fighters and around this sport as much as I am and not want to compete,? he said. ?I can hardly sit around and watch the fights and commentate without wiggling in my seat and demonstrating technique in my head while I?m watching.?

There are questions that come with Couture?s return though, most notably whether the knockout losses to Liddell in 2005 and 2006 (sandwiched around a submission win over Mike Van Arsdale in 2005) were undeniable signs that it was truly time to go for the Oregon native. Then again, getting knocked out by ?The Iceman? is a fate that can be suffered by the young as well ? just ask recent victims Renato Sobral and Tito Ortiz.

?I don?t feel like I?m on the downslide,? admits Couture. ?I don?t feel like I?ve slowed down. I think I was facing an opponent (Liddell) who?s at the top of his skill level right now, and I?m not the only one he?s pointed that out to. He?s had fights since then that have indicated that as well, and this is the best Chuck Liddell we?ve ever seen. He manages to go out and do what he does, find that range, and land that shot. From Babalu to (Jeremy) Horn and Tito. I don?t think it?s an indication of my skills ? it?s more an indication of Chuck?s.?

What about the return to heavyweight though? The last time Couture was seen competing with the big boys in 2002, he got stopped by Barnett and the Rodriguez, leading ?The Natural? to conclude at that time that he would be better served facing fighters closer to his own height and weight.

?I think most notably, my ability has changed,? said Couture, who defeated the likes of Maurice Smith, Kevin Randleman, and Pedro Rizzo (twice) before the losses which prompted his jump to the light heavyweight class, where he went on to stop Liddell and Ortiz en route to the 205-pound title. ?I think the guys are still big, but I?m a better fighter and more technical fighter. I train smarter and have a better idea how to peak for fights, and first and foremost, I believe I have the technique to deal with a bigger fighter, even if I do end up on the bottom. And I didn?t really have those skills back in those days dealing with Josh Barnett and Ricco Rodriguez.?

Now he?ll need them to deal with the biggest UFC heavyweight of them all in the 6-8, 260 pound Sylvia. And if he wins, well?Couture isn?t jumping ahead too fast just yet.

?I?m in the process of signing a four fight deal over the next two years,? he said, ?and like anything, you take it one fight at a time. The last thing I want to do is look past Tim Sylvia.?

And given Couture?s history of producing mixed martial arts miracles, the last thing Tim Sylvia should be doing is looking past him.

?The year off has been good, certainly on a spiritual level, and it?s been good to clear the decks, get a lot of things settled, and get back to being me,? said Couture, one of the game?s classiest figures and a true ambassador of the sport. ?I?ve got a lot better support system than I had going into those fights, and I?m in a lot better place in general.?

?Look, everybody?s gonna question my age and q:Dstion the decision, and that?s okay ? I understand that. I?m either gonna look like a knucklehead on the third of March or a genius. We?ll see.?

:D

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I wonder if they will put Liddell up against Rampage. Kinda revenge fight going on there for Chuck. As mentioned CroCop could always go down to 205. I think we still may see Wandy jump ship to the UFC.

Whatever happens at 205, I would love to see GSP get a decent title run at 170 and maybe Royce Gracie come back for a few fights. And of course, let's see a decent heavyweight clash! If CroCop gets his shot, Sylvia better run like the wind!

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I wonder if they will put Liddell up against Rampage. Kinda revenge fight going on there for Chuck. As mentioned CroCop could always go down to 205. I think we still may see Wandy jump ship to the UFC.

Whatever happens at 205, I would love to see GSP get a decent title run at 170 and maybe Royce Gracie come back for a few fights. And of course, let's see a decent heavyweight clash! If CroCop gets his shot, Sylvia better run like the wind!

Thats if Couture doesnt beat Sylvia first...

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I wonder if they will put Liddell up against Rampage. Kinda revenge fight going on there for Chuck. As mentioned CroCop could always go down to 205. I think we still may see Wandy jump ship to the UFC.

Whatever happens at 205, I would love to see GSP get a decent title run at 170 and maybe Royce Gracie come back for a few fights. And of course, let's see a decent heavyweight clash! If CroCop gets his shot, Sylvia better run like the wind!

Didnt he come back for a match last year?...and lost...cant remember :unsure:

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  • 2 weeks later...
Thats if Couture doesnt beat Sylvia first...

I honestly never thought about Couture coming in as Heavyweight. Maybe he is doing it at the wrong time though... With CroCop coming in and all, Couture would have been the big boost that the Heavyweight division needed before CroCop's arrival.

Yeah, against Matt Hughes. He got annihalated.

I think he may have underestimated the "new" UFC. A little more time working on improving his style as well as developing something more suited to match the current roster of fighters and I seriously think Gracie can be successful again. He may be old, but he's certainly not lost it.

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Speaking of Cro Cop!

Here Comes The Hammer by Thomas Gerbasi

His facial expression rarely changes as he stalks his foes, right leg forward in a southpaw stance, left hand cocked for a fast and straight punch that can either knock you out or stun you long enough for his true weapon to be unleashed ? the one that you know is eventually coming.

And when that left kick comes, like a Roger Clemens fastball ? high, hard, and designed to rattle you ? you can do one of a number of things. You can try to run away, but it?s usually too late for that. You can duck, though the size of his leg is never more evident than when the bottom of his calf is destroying your equilibrium by clipping the top of your head. You can try to block it, but that can result in knocking yourself out from the force of the blow.

Your last resort? Take it and pray for the best. But eight times out of ten, taking this left kick to the head provides a first class ticket to the canvas and unconsciousness. If you don?t get knocked out, well, you?re one of the few.

Welcome to the world of Mirko Cro Cop.

Stone-faced and deadly, the 32-year old native of Vinkovci, Croatia is not only one of the most intimidating figures in combat sports today, he is one of mixed martial arts? premier heavyweights, and on Saturday, at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, he will finally bring his talents to the Octagon when he faces unbeaten Eddie Sanchez at UFC 67. For fight fans in the States, it might as well be a national holiday for all the hype and anticipation surrounding his arrival. But Cro Cop (nicknamed as such because of his former day job as a member of the Croatian anti-terrorist unit ATJ LUCKO) is not about to let the stress of his UFC debut get to him.

?No, there?s no extra pressure,? he said. ?I'm in shape and ready.?

That?s bad news for Sanchez and the rest of the heavyweight division, because when he?s on top of his game, the results are frightening. A former kickboxer who began training to compete in the K-1 organization back in 1994, Cro Cop made his pro debut in 1996 at the age of 21 and over the next seven years he fought the elite of the sport, beating, among others, Jerome LeBanner, Peter Aerts, Mark Hunt, and Remy Bonjasky.

In 2001, Cro Cop made his first inroads into MMA when he stopped Kazuyuki Fujita, and later that year he entered the Pride organization in Japan and started a reign of terror that saw him compile a 21-4-2 MMA record while knocking out, stopping, or submitting the likes of Heath Herring, Igor Vovchanchyn, Josh Barnett, Wanderlei Silva, Mark Coleman, and Kevin Randleman. And though Cro Cop would fall short of the Pride title when he was decisioned by Fedor Emelianenko in 2005, his last stop in Japan saw him win the organization?s Open Weight Grand Prix tournament by walking through Ikuhisa Minowa, Hidehiko Yoshida, Silva, and Barnett in successive bouts.

How do you top that? You come to America and try to repeat your success here, and through the efforts of UFC President Dana White - who describes Cro Cop as ?the most devastating striker I?ve ever seen, second to none,? and ?a heavyweight Chuck Liddell? - the Croatian has been inked to a six fight UFC deal.

Like Liddell, Cro Cop isn?t the type to be searching for the spotlight or captivating reporters with hours of snappy soundbites. He?s a fighter, he loves fighting, and as far as the other obligations that come with that, he?s a polite but private sort, content to simply train, respect his opponents, and let his performance do the talking.

In the Octagon, Cro Cop will have to adjust from fighting in a ring in Japan, but with his stellar takedown defense, it will take a solid gameplan and world-class wrestling skills to get him on his back and push him into the fence, where suddenly all bets are off. And as all wrestlers know, to get close enough to get an opponent down, you have to face an element of danger in terms of incoming fire. Just look at the two bouts between Tito Ortiz and Liddell or the last two bouts between Liddell and Randy Couture. Both Couture and Ortiz are known for their takedowns, but neither was able to sustain an attack under the threat and reality of Liddell?s right hand. Cro Cop has knockout power in his left kick to the head or body, but he also has a quick and deadly straight left that can take you out just as efficiently, and his right uppercut isn?t too shabby either. In other words, be ready for some pain if you try to take him to the mat.

And as far as standup goes, the Zagreb resident has few peers, though against Sanchez he will be facing a young gun with dynamite in his right hand and the knowledge that his life and career will be forever altered in a positive manner if he can catch the Croatian napping and score the upset.

Cro Cop insists that he is wide awake and ready for anything Sanchez brings.

?I have only seen one tape of him,? said Cro Cop of Sanchez. ?He is a young fighter with a clean record, waiting for a big break. But I'll never underestimate anyone.?

That means Cro Cop will enter each fight as if he?s fighting Godzilla, regardless of his opponent?s size, skill, power, speed, or pedigree. And as far as he?s concerned, there is no truth to critics? assertions that the UFC heavyweight division is thin and in need of the type of life only he can bring.

?Who can say that it is a weak division,? said Cro Cop. ?There will always be someone totally unknown to appear all of a sudden from somewhere we never expected.?

Just ask Jake O?Brien, who last Thursday came out of nowhere to upset highly regarded Heath Herring, who like Cro Cop, came from great success in Japan and was expected to use his UFC debut as a springboard to big things in the division.

?That is the nature of our business,? said Cro Cop, who in 2003 was elected to the Croatian Parliament. ?Especially, the way it is growing, the UFC will be attracting every tough guy in the world to start training for MMA. We'll encounter a new threat every day, and that's what keeps my motivation high to keep on training every day.?

Of course, the tough guy at the top of the UFC ladder is champion Tim Sylvia, who despite criticism for back-to-back decision wins in his defenses against Andrei Arlovski and Jeff Monson, is one of the best heavyweights in the world, has concussive power in his right hand, great stamina, and is underrated on the ground. Plus, you can?t teach 6 foot 8, 260 pounds.

?He is the reigning heavyweight champion of the UFC, and I should respect him for that,? said Cro Cop of Sylvia. ?It's not easy to become the champion in any ring or cage. I know that for a fact. He must have worked harder, and spilled more sweat and blood than his rivals, that's why he is there at the top. Nobody should discredit him for his effort and determination and I'm looking forward to meeting him in the Octagon.?

If it happens this year, it may end up being the biggest fight of the year and a career-defining bout for both fighters. Will it happen? Well, Sylvia has Randy Couture to contend with in March and Cro Cop has Eddie Sanchez to deal with this Saturday. Anything after that is purely speculation, but rest assured, the pride of Croatia is ready for his UFC close-up.

?To start fighting in the UFC, especially in the Octagon, is a brand new challenge,? said Cro Cop. ?I'm highly motivated because of that.?

It?s going to be a fun year.

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It's confirmed! UFC 68: The Uprising

Tim Sylvia vs. Randy Couture! - I can't wait, finally we may get a decent champion in the Heavyweight division!

It's still got Randy listed as 205lbs :D

Wooot!!! nice that match is so gonna rule :D

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