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"Randy Couture: 17-10 Equals a Legend?" 1/16/10

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"Randy Couture: 17-10 Equals a Legend?" 1/16/10

Postby Blacksheep » Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:58 am

"Randy Couture: 17-10 Equals a Legend?"

1/16/10

By Don Kelley
(Aka: Blacksheep)

In today’s era of elite fighters, with records of 30-1 (Fedor) 25-4 (Anderson Silva) 19-2 (GSP) and countless other fighters with records just as impressive, how can a fighter with a record of 17-10 be called a “Elite” fighter ? Or for that matter how can a fighter with such a record even be called “Legendary” ? By today’s standards and by all rights, he should not fall into this elite category only reserved for the “Gods” of MMA ! But I disagree, I hope to show you why a fighter who has lost over a third of his fights belongs among the MMA Gods! I am of course talking about Randy “The Natural” Couture !

So many fans of MMA have only become fans since the beginning of TUF, and there is nothing wrong with this. We all became fans at one time or another, and I for one love TUF because of all the new fans it has brought our sport. The only major draw back I can see to this, is fans forget the history of MMA, never knew it, or have a misconceived perception they receive from forums and others opinions . Today’s fans are used to up and coming fighters who are nothing less than human wrecking machines that leave a trail of broken bodies in their wake as they climb the rankings ladder. And I must admit, I enjoy watching these one man wrecking machines destroy all before them as much as the next fan. But we must not forget the founding fathers of our sport, the “Legends“. With each new generation of fighters that just blow us away, we must remember they are standing on the shoulders of those who came before them. And there are countless fighters who are standing on the shoulders of “Captain America”.

Randy “The Natural” Couture, the three time former UFC heavyweight champion and two time UFC light heavyweight champion, made his MMA debut in a four man Heavyweight tournament at UFC 13 “The Ultimate Force“, in May 1997, at the age of 34. Most fighters are thinking of retirement by their mid 30’s, not starting a new career as a fighter. Remember, this was also pre-Zuffa days, the old “Blood sport” UFC. His first fight was against a man he gave up a hundred pounds to by the name Ludvig Borga, scoring a double leg take down, and some ground and pound, he secured a rear naked choke victory in less than a min.

Four months and two fights later he faced Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort to see who would become the number one challenger for the heavyweight belt. To say he was a underdog in this fight would be the understatement of the century. Vitor was 15 yrs his junior, had extremely fast hands, and was set to fight for Brazil in Olympic boxing. This is the fight that gave Randy his reputation of a master strategist in the sport. He out thought, out fought, and outlasted the younger stronger fighter. Around the 7 minute mark, Vitor was exhausted. Couture yet again took the fight to the ground, and finished with punches from back mount in what was one of the biggest upsets in early MMA history. Vitor is soon to face Anderson Silva for the UFC Middle weight belt. He is STILL younger now, 13 years later as he is about to face Anderson Silva, than Randy was when he defeated Vitor at UFC 15 !

Randy’s fourth professional MMA fight was against Maurice Smith for the UFC Heavyweight belt. After a 21 min battle, he won a majority decision and became the new UFC heavyweight champion. Now Brock Lesnar was also given a title shot after only four pro fights, and I have read many articles saying how “Unfair” this was, “No one else gets a title shot after four fights” etc. and someone always brings up Randy Couture and his title shot after four fights. Well here is where some of that forgotten history I was talking about comes in. When Brock fought for the title, the UFC was close to 20 years old. Brock was brought in to fight for the title simply because of name recognition, yes he is a great fighter and a true force of nature in the Heavyweight division, But the facts are he sells tickets. When Randy Couture fought for the title, there were no ten year veterans of MMA, ALL fighters in the UFC were new and starting out. When Randy fought for the belt the first time, the UFC was only three years old.

Randy would go on to lose the heavyweight belt, regain it, and lose it again. After a move to Light heavyweight, and again being the perpetual underdog, was being served up to Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell. As in his fight with Vitor, no one gave him a chance, this was a “Warm up” fight for Chuck before he faced Tito Ortiz, and again, he shocked the MMA world. The ground fighter beat the “Iceman” at his own game of standup and won by tko in the third round. He now had won the right to face Tito for the LHW belt, and in a fight that has been played countless times in highlight reels, he won the belt to become the first fighter in UFC history to hold belts in two weight classes.

Like his first heavyweight run, he would lose the belt (A controversial decision) regain the belt and lose it again. Finally, father time seemed to be catching up with “Captain America”, after suffering his second knockout loss in a row in a rematch with Chuck Liddell on February 4, 2006, Randy Couture decided it was time to retire, at the age of 42, he hung up his gloves. But like many great competitors, the fire was still there, and after a year retirement, he again moved up to heavyweight. In his first fight back, he faced Tim Silvia for the belt. As in all his previous fights, he was the underdog, and even I doubted him this time. Over the years I have seen many great athletes come out of retirement to only be sent back into retirement humiliated. Not only was he now a year older at the age of 43, but he was again facing a younger, stronger, and MUCH bigger opponent. But again he showed us why he is called “The Natural” by dropping the 6ft 8inch Silvia with his first punch, and then going on to give a five round clinic in MMA.

I could go on and on about all of his fights, his wins and his losses. But in his LONG and historic career, he has one of the most impressive careers AND records in the history of MMA. Out of his 17-10 record, 14 of those fights were title fights, “14”, not to many fighters can say they have fought for the title 14 times. three of those fights won him the heavyweight title, two of them won him the light heavyweight belt, and nine of those fights were defending his belts or fighting for a belt. What other fighter’s record, in all of MMA, can make a claim like that ?

Now at the age of 46, he is again in the light heavyweight division, and making a run for a historic sixth title. Will he make it ? Will he win a sixth belt ? After all he has done in this sport, after all he has done for this sport, do you really doubt he can do it ? Randy Couture has long been my favorite fighter, and I learned LONG ago, to NEVER doubt “The Natural”. If he beats Mark Coleman in his next fight, and wins the chance to fight for the title again, MY money will be on Randy “The Natural” Couture.

There is a very old Egyptian expression “Time fears no man, but even time fears the pyramids”, I think it is time to redo this expression to say “Time fears no man, but even time fears the pyramids, AND Randy Couture”. He is after all “The Natural” !

"Blacksheep"
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Re: 17-10 ? 1/16/10

Postby liltorpedo13 » Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:33 am

i think his wrestling hisrory , and army history is what gives him his notariaty. with more countries and more ppl getting into mma you start to find ppl that are better in every aspect. i think thats why alot of old fighters are getting overshadowed.
randy was. but he doesnt seem to be advancing from nothing more than a 1,2, shoot type of deal.
i mean alot of ppl thought the same about ortiz cuz he beat shamrock, but ppl are starting to easily get around his 1,2 shoot
strategy as well. ufc really was in limbo when it came to h.w and its barely starting to stack up now.
and also if you notice randys camp isnt doing too well either. something new has to be added to their arsonal or theyll end
up just like him has-been
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Re: 17-10 ? 1/16/10

Postby red_donn » Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:00 am

His "loss" of the LHW title to Belfort by cut within the first minute was total BS.

An often forgotten moment was Randy's victory over Kevin Randleman. While that match may not sound like a very important one to most people, it was key in the UFC's quest to gain legitimacy. Dana had a number of major sports figures present at that fight and he held it up to them as an example of two world-class athletes from a recognized combat sport competing in a new type of competition under safe and civilized rules. White has said in the past that fight played a huge part in getting the NSAC and others to fully back the UFC.

Personally, I consider Randy to be a great LHW in terms of skill and athleticism. He has always had problems with large grapplers who could challenge his wrestling and bring their size to bear, but he has been successful at HW despite a considerable size disadvantage. He has never had to drop much weight to make it to LHW, doing only a limited diet leading up to the fight and cutting the rest fairly easily. If we had seen Chuck, Rampage, Griffin, or Tito up against the best HW's the UFC could get for roughly half of their careers, how would they have fared? That is obviously rhetorical, but puts some perspective on his quality as a fighter.
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Re: 17-10 ? 1/16/10

Postby liltorpedo13 » Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:56 am

red_donn wrote:His "loss" of the LHW title to Belfort by cut within the first minute was total BS.

An often forgotten moment was Randy's victory over Kevin Randleman. While that match may not sound like a very important one to most people, it was key in the UFC's quest to gain legitimacy. Dana had a number of major sports figures present at that fight and he held it up to them as an example of two world-class athletes from a recognized combat sport competing in a new type of competition under safe and civilized rules. White has said in the past that fight played a huge part in getting the NSAC and others to fully back the UFC.

Personally, I consider Randy to be a great LHW in terms of skill and athleticism. He has always had problems with large grapplers who could challenge his wrestling and bring their size to bear, but he has been successful at HW despite a considerable size disadvantage. He has never had to drop much weight to make it to LHW, doing only a limited diet leading up to the fight and cutting the rest fairly easily. If we had seen Chuck, Rampage, Griffin, or Tito up against the best HW's the UFC could get for roughly half of their careers, how would they have fared? That is obviously rhetorical, but puts some perspective on his quality as a fighter.
we never really got to see that. but i still dont think anything woulD Be different. randy was good until the ufc got better competition then thats when we got to see his true colours.
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Re: 17-10 ? 1/16/10

Postby jthorne » Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:20 am

red_donn wrote:His "loss" of the LHW title to Belfort by cut within the first minute was total BS.

An often forgotten moment was Randy's victory over Kevin Randleman. While that match may not sound like a very important one to most people, it was key in the UFC's quest to gain legitimacy. Dana had a number of major sports figures present at that fight and he held it up to them as an example of two world-class athletes from a recognized combat sport competing in a new type of competition under safe and civilized rules. White has said in the past that fight played a huge part in getting the NSAC and others to fully back the UFC.

Personally, I consider Randy to be a great LHW in terms of skill and athleticism. He has always had problems with large grapplers who could challenge his wrestling and bring their size to bear, but he has been successful at HW despite a considerable size disadvantage. He has never had to drop much weight to make it to LHW, doing only a limited diet leading up to the fight and cutting the rest fairly easily. If we had seen Chuck, Rampage, Griffin, or Tito up against the best HW's the UFC could get for roughly half of their careers, how would they have fared? That is obviously rhetorical, but puts some perspective on his quality as a fighter.

Didn't Rampage move up for a couple fights in Pride? cuase i believe when he fought Masaaki Satake and Igor Vovchanchyn he went up to HW.

anyway even though Randy is not a legend, i still consider Saku a bigger legend then him. one of the greatest fighters to never win a belt.
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Re: 17-10 ? 1/16/10

Postby ultimate_fighter » Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:26 am

he's a legend cuz he was the first one to hold two different weight class belts in UFC.
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Re: 17-10 ? 1/16/10

Postby Blacksheep » Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:02 pm

liltorpedo13 wrote:
we never really got to see that. but i still dont think anything woulD Be different. randy was good until the ufc got better competition then thats when we got to see his true colours.



His "True color" ? Ok....to me it is just plain obvious you do not like him, and thats fine. You talk like he was good years ago and the sport passed him by long ago. In his "Recent" loss of the Heavyweight belt to Brock...He faired better against Brock than anyone else has so far. In his second loss to Nog...that fight had many talking about fight of the year candidate. Then he again moves down to LHW...and had "One" boring fight.... So we now see his "True Colors" ?

Look at who he has fought over the years....Vitor Belfort, Maurice Smith, Kevin Randleman, Pedro Rizzo, Josh Barnett, Ricco Rodriguez, Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz, Mike Van Arsdale, Tim Sylvia, Gabriel Gonzaga, Brock Lesnar, Minotauro Nogueira, Brandon Vera ..... Not any cans or freak shows on this list...And EVERYONE of them were at or are at the top of their games when they faced Randy !

Everyone thinks he is suddenly boring now...why ? is it because of his last boring fight...in which he himself said was a bad fight ? Or is it becasue fans do not want to see MMA anymore and just want to watch a boxing match in the cage ? In almost every fight I have seen lately...the SECOND the fight goes to the ground...if there is no serious G-n-P...the fans start booing it seems. Look at his record again....out of his 17 wins... 7 are by knockout or TKO, 2 are by submission, the rest by decision...that's not to damn bad for a boring "Lay-n-Pray" fighter.
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Re: 17-10 ? 1/16/10

Postby Blacksheep » Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:07 pm

ultimate_fighter wrote:he's a legend cuz he was the first one to hold two different weight class belts in UFC.



True...also because he was not expected to hold those two belts, not to mention the Five total. Add in his age....when he came back and won the Heavyweight title again for a third time at 43 ??? Add that to his legend....The first time he won the HW belt like red_donn is talking about...helped to make the sport legit and legal...there are other reasons...and anyone of them would make the case for his fame...but add them ALL together...and you get a legendary status.
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Re: 17-10 ? 1/16/10

Postby Blacksheep » Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:27 pm

jthorne wrote:
anyway even though Randy is not a legend, i still consider Saku a bigger legend then him. one of the greatest fighters to never win a belt.


First, there are countless legends in the sport of MMA, I only picked Randy to write about. Second...I more than welcome a debate with all over any of my articles (Not a argument or bashing) But you say a man who has won "FIVE" belts is no legend ? A man who helped make MMA Legit and legal ? Please say why...if you don't like him that is fine, if you think he is boring, that also is fine....but he is a legend and he deserves a bit of respect for what he has done.
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Re: 17-10 ? 1/16/10

Postby Blacksheep » Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:32 pm

red_donn wrote:His "loss" of the LHW title to Belfort by cut within the first minute was total BS.

An often forgotten moment was Randy's victory over Kevin Randleman. While that match may not sound like a very important one to most people, it was key in the UFC's quest to gain legitimacy. Dana had a number of major sports figures present at that fight and he held it up to them as an example of two world-class athletes from a recognized combat sport competing in a new type of competition under safe and civilized rules. White has said in the past that fight played a huge part in getting the NSAC and others to fully back the UFC.

Personally, I consider Randy to be a great LHW in terms of skill and athleticism. He has always had problems with large grapplers who could challenge his wrestling and bring their size to bear, but he has been successful at HW despite a considerable size disadvantage. He has never had to drop much weight to make it to LHW, doing only a limited diet leading up to the fight and cutting the rest fairly easily. If we had seen Chuck, Rampage, Griffin, or Tito up against the best HW's the UFC could get for roughly half of their careers, how would they have fared? That is obviously rhetorical, but puts some perspective on his quality as a fighter.



Thank you red_donn !! I will admit there were 100's of things I could have added to this article and did not...this being one of the ones I "Should" have added. I will also admit this is not one of my better pieces, and for that I feel terrible. Randy is one of my all time favorite fighters....and I wanted to do him justice. But I felt the Pen needed a new article and rushed it...I did this at three a.m. in the morn and from memory :oops:
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Re: 17-10 ? 1/16/10

Postby Blacksheep » Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:38 pm

red_donn wrote:His "loss" of the LHW title to Belfort by cut within the first minute was total BS.



I agree 100%...tie this to the fact they have now fought "THREE" times....with Randy taking two of the three (And those two wins were not by "Lay-n-Pray" he BEAT Vitor and broke him)....with the third being a loss do to a very controversial decision because of a cut. And Now Vitor has come back into the UFC fold, destroyed Rich Franklin, and is now set to face Anderson SIlva...to me says tons about Randy's fighting style. People are saying Randy is boring..yet he has two wins over the man about to face Anderson.
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Re: 17-10 ? 1/16/10

Postby Moe56 » Sat Jan 16, 2010 2:29 pm

Blacksheep wrote:Vitor is soon to face Anderson Silva for the UFC Light Heavyweight belt.



That's a really good read there sheep. It should be clear now why Randy should be respected, it's pretty clear even though his record isn't outstanding that he's one of the greatest.

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Re: 17-10 ? 1/16/10

Postby Dazzman » Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:03 pm

Great read and I agree never count out "The Natural" !
HW: Big Nog, Fedor, and Cro Cop
LHW: Rashad, Shogun, and Mousasi
MW: Vitor and Nate
WW: GSP
LW: BJ and Gray
FW: Jose Aldo
BW: Damacio "The Angel of Death" Page

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Re: 17-10 ? 1/16/10

Postby gigica1 » Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:14 pm

I would call him a legend as in Founding Father way but not as in Devastating Fighter or Superb Skill Fighter
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Re: 17-10 ? 1/16/10

Postby Blacksheep » Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:49 pm

Moe56 wrote:
Blacksheep wrote:Vitor is soon to face Anderson Silva for the UFC Light Heavyweight belt.



That's a really good read there sheep. It should be clear now why Randy should be respected, it's pretty clear even though his record isn't outstanding that he's one of the greatest.

Hate to be that guy but found one problem



Opps :oops: :lol: As I said in my response to red_donn...I did this at 3 in the morn...I am surprised there are not several more mistakes :lol: But I will go back and fix it.
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