UFC Legacies: Randy Couture

3 Dec , 2021,
A. J. Riot

Randy Couture is a former MMA fighter, gold medal-winning Greco-Roman wrestler, fighting coach, and actor. Couture is a former Heavyweight world champion for the UFC and is one of only 2 fighters over the age of 40 to have won a UFC fight. 

Today, we will be looking at his life and career. 

Before the UFC 

In the early 1990s, Couture wrestled at the collegiate level. During his college career, he won 2 silver medals in the field. 

He went to wrestle for Team USA in multiple Pan American Games and World Championships. Between 1991 and 1998, Couture won 3 Bronze Medals, 3 Silver Medals, and 2 Gold Medals for his country. 

He also served for the United States Military between 1992 and 1998 in the 101st Airborne Division. 

The UFC Years 

After retiring from the military Couture was invited to join the UFC. He was given 3 weeks’ notice before taking part in his first fight. His first fight turned out to be part of a tournament and if he won we would be expected to fight again that night. 

This tournament took place at UFC 13. His first fight was against Tony Halme who had weighed in at over 100 pounds heavier than Couture. However, Couture choked Halme out within less than a minute. He went on to win his second fight of the night in under 2 minutes. 

At UFC 15, Couture fought Vitor Belfort for a chance to fight for the Heavyweight championship. Couture went in as the underdog again. Couture outfought Belfort and his win in this match is considered one of the biggest upsets in UFC history. 

At UFC Japan in 1997, Couture claimed the Heavyweight Championship title. He beat Maurice Smith via the judge’s decision. 

The next year, Couture signed for a fighting tournament in Japan and the UFC stripped him of his title. Later that year he joined the fighting organization RINGS. Couture lost his first fight with the company but went on to win his first to rights in the RINGS King of Kings tournament. Couture earned himself a place in the final. 

Seeing this the UFC offered Couture a chance to rejoin their company and fight for the Heavyweight Championship title again. He took them up on this offer, defeated Kevin Randleman, and became the Heavyweight champion again. 

The UFC allowed Couture to return to Japan and fight in the RINGS King of Kings final. He won this fight with a chokehold and then returned to the UFC to defend his title. 

Between his RINGS victory and his next UFC fight, UFC was taken over by Zuffa. Couture took part in their first big match under new management. He fought  Pedro Rizzo and beat him via the judge’s decision. Many fans were upset about the result and accused the new UFC managers of fixing it. 

A rematch was set up and Couture beat Rizzo in the first round via TKO. Couture defended his Heavyweight title twice more, before losing it and moving down to the Light Heavyweight Division at age 40. 

Within three matches in the Light Heavyweight Division, Couture was crowned the undisputed Light Heavyweight champion. He was one of the first people to succeed having changed weight classes in the UFC. 

During his time in the Light Heavyweight division, Couture fought Chuck Liddell three times. He beat Liddell twice before losing in their final match. At this point Couture had been knocked out in two fights in a row. He decided this was the time for him to retire. 

Couture did take some time out but soon returned to the UFC. In 2007, he won two Heavyweight fights and reclaimed his Championship title, and then defended it. Couture ended up leaving the UFC over pay disputes. 

He later returned to the UFC, again, at Heavyweight level. He lost his first two fights and moved down to the Light Heavyweight Division. Couture won his next fight in 2009, at the age of 46, making him the oldest fighter ever to win a UFC match. If you think someone will take Couture’s record and you like betting on UFC fights, you should consider betting on it. 

He retired in 2010 after losing 2 matches. 

He ended his MMA career with a record of 19-11. 

Life outside the UFC  

When it comes to his life outside of the UFC, Couture is most famous for his acting career. He has starred in a few episodes of crime dramas, but most notably has also starred in a few blockbuster films. 

He had roles in Scorpion King 2, The Expendables (1,2, and 3), as well as starring in The Setup alongside Bruce Willis. 

Couture has moved away from being a fighter and now coaches a few UFC fighters, including one of his ex wives – Kim Couture. 

Couture has three children and currently lives with his long term partner Mindy Robinson.