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[MMA] Will Randy Couture Fight Again?


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In the midst of a three-match win streak as well as a Hollywood career that is quickly generating momentum, multi-time UFC champion Randy Couture could soon be faced with a decision between his two professional worlds.

The legend's enviable future dilemma was best exhibited during the month of August. On the 13th, Couture helped open Sylvester Stallone's "The Expendables" to the No. 1 spot in the US box office. To date, the film has made over $100 million domestically and around a quarter-billion dollars worldwide. Then, on the 28th, he moved back to the realm that made him famous, and submitted boxer-turned-mixed martial artist James Toney in a bout that received major mainstream media buzz.

So what's next for the 47-year-old Couture? Though no firm offers have been made and nothing has been set in stone, both the UFC and Hollywood remain viable options.

"We're sorting through things right now," Couture's lawyer Sam Spira told MMA Fighting.

Couture -- who has three fights left on his current UFC deal -- remains open to possibilities in both film and sport, but another possibility exists for fight fans: that they may have seen the last of the legend in the octagon.

"It's possible," Spira said. "I'd say right now it's a toss-up. If something came up that was interesting, he would fight irrespective of whether he got a meaningful Hollywood role. But there's other stuff for him to do that's MMA-related. I think many would be surprised at some of the things we are working on. So he doesn't have to be actively fighting in the ring to remain active. Is it possible he may not fight again? Yeah, it's possible. I'd say it's a toss-up."

By all accounts, Couture's body is holding up well enough to continue on with his MMA career, but he may soon be forced with a difficult decision about his fight life based on other considerations. Rarely a day goes by without some commitment, and his show business opportunities continue to grow.

If he does return to the cage, it may be a while. Couture in recent months has noted that he was most likely to entertain offers for "interesting" fights.

That approach has been exemplified in his recent fight history. After losing the heavyweight championship to Brock Lesnar in Nov. 2008, he stayed in the division to face Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Then he moved to light heavyweight to face Brandon Vera and later Mark Coleman, before lobbying for the match with Toney in what was predestined to be a major gate attraction. That fight was originally designed at a catch weight before being officially sanctioned as a heavyweight tilt.

"I'm not sure that Randy is focused upon whether or not he has another run at the title," Spira said. "If they said, 'Will you fight Shogun [Rua] for the title?' I think he would, but the title itself is not as important as the fight he's offered."

Amateur matchmakers have tried to figure out Couture's next move based upon current UFC conditions, but many of the current top contenders -- fighters that would probably most stoke Couture's competitive fires -- are already locked into fights.

Division champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua will be facing Rashad Evans upon his return from injury. Lyoto Machida and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson will square off in Detroit in November. Rich Franklin remains on the shelf while rehabilitating an injury.

Because of that, along with rapidly filling cards, it seems unlikely that Couture will return to the Octagon in 2010, despite coming out of his UFC 118 match with little damage.

But another, more remote possibility exists, the possibility that the ageless wonder may have finally seen his last battle in the Octagon.

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Part of me wants Randy to go out now while he is on this win streak. He has accomplished all anyone could want in a career. The other part of me loves to see him fight and thinks he could still be a force at light heavyweight, but he should probably stay well away from heavyweight except for situations like the Toney fight.

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Part of me wants Randy to go out now while he is on this win streak. He has accomplished all anyone could want in a career. The other part of me loves to see him fight and thinks he could still be a force at light heavyweight, but he should probably stay well away from heavyweight except for situations like the Toney fight.

LHW? If he went into LHW guess who he would fight? Bones. Because everybody is ducking Bones like crazy. He would wreak havok on Couture. The likely victim right now is Bader and after that weak display against Minotouro, I think Bones will steamroll him.

I want Kimbo vs Fedor in Strikeforce. For the absolute lulz. Or even Kimbo vs Toney (this one is bound to happen).

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LHW? If he went into LHW guess who he would fight? Bones. Because everybody is ducking Bones like crazy. He would wreak havok on Couture. The likely victim right now is Bader and after that weak display against Minotouro, I think Bones will steamroll him.

Bones is a bad dude. Randy does not have to fight him though. At this point I think Randy has some say in making his own matches and Dana has some incentive to protect him as well. Bones deserves a fight against one of the top guys in the division next in any case to set him up for a title shot. Randy is not one of the top guys in LHW. Give me Bones v Evans or Machida and Randy v Griffith or even Liddell again or any of 20 other fights before pairing them against each other. I don't think that match makes sense for either fighter and as a fan I don't particularly want to see it either.

Really the choice is to stay up at heavyweight or drop down a weight class. Randy walks around at maybe 220 and that used to be fine for HW. HW now is packed with guys like Lesnar and Carwin that are walking around at 280 plus. The HW division has really changed in the last 5 years or so. Randy can make the cut down to 205 easy, he has done it in the past very successfully and fight against guys his own size at least. I think it is too much to ask for him to cut to 185 for middleweight.

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I think if they did sort of a Farewell UFC event with Couture vs Liddell and promote it as such, i think it would probably be the biggest ufc ppv yet. If both fighters say this is our LAST hurrah, instead of fighting, losing and saying "oh i'll think about it". I for one would love to see them fight again, more so than chuck vs tito.

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I'd love to see that as well Bubba....But how many mainstream fans want a Liddell/Couture Part 4? I think Couture still has some fight in him however. I've always wanted to see him fight Frank Mir but honestly, he's better at light heavyweight. Really, a Shogun/Couture fight would be pretty interesting. I seem to recall he was holding his own very well against Lesnar, until it seems to me anyways, a pivotal moment in the fight when Lesnar landed a good punch. That says a lot about the man's staying power. I expect 3 more good fights.

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