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Randy Couture vs. Lyoto Machida in works for UFC 129

Rumors of Randy Couture’s retirement became premature over the weekend, as it appears “The Natural” has at least one more fight in him and verbally agreed to the match-up. According to Couture, assuming the paperwork side of things is hammered out, he will face former 205-pound champ Lyoto Machida on April 30 in Toronto at UFC 129.

News of the fight and both parties’ interest was reported by MMAFighting.

Couture had previously hinted at hanging his gloves up for good based on his rising profile in Hollywood and feeling his last two fights were “novelty” bouts (Mark Coleman / James Toney), saying on ESPN’s MMA Live, “They didn’t really matter in the division, they didn’t put me any closer to a title.”

In Machida, the iconic Mixed Martial Artist will attempt to solve an extremely motivated 16-2 riddle emerging victorious in sixteen straight appearances to open his career up. However, “The Dragon” is coming off a mildly questionable split decision loss to Quinton “Rampage” Jackson a few months ago at UFC 123 and dropped the light heavyweight title a bout earlier by way of first-round knockout to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in May, so he clearly has a lot on the line in terms of avoiding a three-fight losing streak. Prior to the defeats the crafty Brazilian had notched a number of notable wins including those over Rua, Rashad Evans, Tito Ortiz, and Thiago Silva.

  • gy614x says:

    This could be a disaster for Captain America.

    Randy your one of my favorite fighters, it’s hard to say this but I have to….

    Lyoto tko rd. 2

  • A very ineresting fight and one that I’ll be watching with eyes glued to the screen. Randy has shown that despite anything he can make it competitive and even come out with a win, but the Dragon is a riddle that only two men have cracked, and Rampage while having fought smart against Machida, isnt known for his gameplanning. Randy will probably have a great plan set up for this, but Machida’s speed is probably gonna be too much for him…

    Machida by UD.

  • Angry Mike says:

    Rua solved the riddle: Aggressive but intelligent pursuit. If Couture can close the distance and clinch with Machida, he has a legitimate chance. If not, Machida picks him apart at a distance. Couture is one of the best at preparing and implementing a game plan, so you can’t count him out.

    This will be an interesting fight, but it doesn’t make any sense for Machida. I don’t think Couture is in contention, so losing to Couture hurts Machida, and beating Couture doesn’t help Machida.

  • MickeyC says:

    Gotta agree with Mike. If Randy, puts his hands on him, gets him to the cage,drags him down. Just do what he does and he has a chance. But LM is very good at fighting at a distance.

  • Creature says:

    this is gonna be great. randy is gonna come in with a great gameplan and wont stray from it. even if lyoto does manage to beat randy, captain america wont go down without a hell of a fight

    the nataural by dec. :)

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Lyoto has very solid wrestling, remember he pretty much ragdolled Tito when they fought. I think it will be a decent fight but all Machida.

  • Rich S. says:

    Wow, I didn’t see this coming.

    This might actually be GOOD for Randy. Lyoto is about the least dangerous striker Randy could face, simply for the fact that he’s not so aggressive. Meaning, if Randy can avoid all of the kicks and jabs and just get close, he may be able to succeed with his normal strategy. Whether or not Lyoto can squirm or power out of Randy’s clinch is up in the air.

  • MCM says:

    I was thinking the same thing Angry Mike. How is this a win for Machida? If he beats Randy, then he beat a legend coming out of retirement but not in the title mix. If he loses to Randy, then he’s on his third loss in a row and was beaten by a guy coming out of retirement and not even in the title mix.
    I see why both fighters like this fight stylistically, but it’s just too much of a gamble for Machida if he wants to stay at the top of the division.

  • MickeyC says:

    They should have waited and matched Machida with the winner of Jones & Bader. No disrespect to Randy, .cause I feel he could win but this seems like a step down for Matchida.

  • bigbadjohn says:

    Why not Thiago Silva? He’s coming off a dominating performance and Machida’s dropped 2 straight. It would be Thiago’s shot at redemption but also has the perfect makings for Lyoto’s turn around- being that Silva’s style plays well into his own. I was never a big fan of Machida’s fighting but he seems respectful, talented and determined, it seems unecessary for him to take a risk losing to a half-retired fighter, even is it as a legend. Prediction? A tough call but I would take bets on the perrenial underdog Couture if it paid decent.

  • MCM says:

    I understand where you’re coming from bigbadjohn, but as a fan, I don’t want to see Lyoto/Silva again considering how the first fight ended.
    Brilz, Lil Nog (if he gets by Tito), Forrest, Ace, even Phil Davis all make more sense to me than Randy.

  • MCM says:

    I know he won’t fight Nog, I’m just saying…..

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    First of all why and 2nd of all Machida wins easily.
    Couture struggled with Liddell and his style and he is going to be made to look old and slow by Machida. I don’t think he even has a 1 in 100 chance to win this.
    I wont say by which method but I will say Machida easily wins.

  • bigbadjohn says:

    Logic, I see Randy as being not as powerful as Rampage but with better wrestling and much better gameplanning. Do you really think Couture is 1/100th the fighter as Page?

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    I think Randy is 48 or 49 and is slow, past his prime, overrated and will hardly touch Machida.
    I think anyone in the top of the 205 would beat Randy. Couture was a top 10 fighter a couple of times in his career but was handed title shots against favorable opponents based on his name rather than his ranking at least 5 times (I think that is how many title shots he got coming off a loss). The guy leap frogged more worthy fighters all of his career anytime he wanted to based on his name. He went 4-3 at LHW when he was in the peak of his career and that was when 6 or 7 of the worlds best LHWs were in Pride. I think in Randy’s prime he would have been destroyed by Machida and think that Machida is the worst match up for him in the LHW division full stop. I don’t think he will even touch Machida in any significant way. I don’t think he can out strike Machida, I don’t think he can hold him down, if he manages to get him there, for any amount of damage to be done, he will not sub him and there is very, very little chance he will out point him. His last sinificant win was 3 years ago and before that it was 2004 for Belfort and 2003 for Tito.
    If Couture wins this fight it will be the upset of the century for me. I may eat my words but I will say it.
    I would say “but stranger things have happened” but I can’t think of any things that I would find stranger.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Just thought I would add that the old adage that Couture always makes it competitive is BS.
    He has been finished 8 times in the first 2 rds (5 or so in the first). He doesn’t always make it competitive, so stop saying that. His other 2 losses were a UD and a stoppage in the 5th.
    Where the hell people get this shit from. He has never ever had a split dec go against him.
    If he was 39 and was a better striker and sub artist with good speed and a record of 19-5 I would give him a chance but at nearly 49 with no significant sub ability, no power in his strikes, his speed leaving him and his stats at 19-10 with a few being “novelty” fights I give him 1-100. Not impossible but not far from it.

  • LiverPunch says:

    Come on Logic, he is a brilliant tactician.
    His game plan of clinching wrestling and dirty boxing was awesome against Rizzo and his game plan of clinching wrestling and dirty boxing was inspiring against Belfort and that game plan of clinching wrestling and dirty boxing was a surprise against Gonzaga and the game plan of clinching wrestling and dirty boxing against Ortiz was genius and what about his brilliant game plan of clinching wrestling and dirty boxing against Sylvia, wow and he even boxed in that one but best of all was his game plan of clinching wrestling and dirty boxing against Vera. I wonder what amazing game plan he will surprise us with and try and use against Lyoto. I can’t wait to see what this master tactician has in store for us. I think he might try and clinch or try and out wrestle Machida, he may even dirty box a little, I know it sounds crazy but I can see the “game plan guru” Couture trying just that kind of crazy shit.

  • Iconoclastic says:

    This reminds me of when Pride execs. used throw Saku, and Minowa in against ranked fighters hoping that they could pull off the upset, Eventually they would be brought back to reality when their fighters were being peeled off the mat or literally being launched 6ft across the ring (Saku) from a Wandy right cross. Although Machida usually isn’t very aggressive, I think he will stop Randy within 1 round. Machida has lost his last 2, so he has something to prove and he will have trained his ass off. Randy hasn’t had any real competition in over a year , unless you consider his senior circuit fight with Coleman and his “fight” against an over the hill boxer competition , so that will def. show in the cage. Obviously Randy’s only chance is to take down but Machida is too elusive so that’s not gonna happen. A flustered Couture will eat a few knees/kicks before being KO.

  • Rece Rock says:

    This is Awesome… I don’t care what anybody says… it’s awesome for Randy win or lose if this is his last fight he went out with a top 5 opponent. Machida is going to be cautious he doesn’t want to make it 3 in a row… and if he does come out aggressive he just might leave a hole for Randy to catch him… either way this is a win win for everybody in my opinion.

  • bigbadjohn says:

    Hey, randy was reasonably successful wrestling and dirty boxing with a 290 pound Lesnar. I think his chances of being able to wrestle with Machida are a bit better than you think, Logic

  • Niv says:

    The only thing I fear about this matchup is that somehow the winner is thrust into a title shot. Whether it’s Machida or Couture (unlikely) I still think there’s a lot of contenders for a shot at Shogun.

    Either way if Machida loses, he shouldn’t get a sniff of a title shot again, if he wins he still needs at least three solid wins before he gets another shot.

    Let’s get some fresh blood in here, I’d like to see the Jones vs Bader winner get the next shot.

  • Dufresne says:

    Don’t quite understand this fight. Machida is a counter-striker, Couture is not a striker.

    Both of Machida’s dominating performances were against aggressive strikers: Rashad and Thiago.
    Randy’s most impressive performances of late have been against guys that can’t fight off their back or who fell in love with their hands and ignored their ground game: Sylvia, Gonzaga, Vera, Coleman and Toney.
    The only way I see this fight not going to decision is if Machida gets aggressive with his striking or if Randy gets sloppy with his sub defense. Neither of those two options favor Randy. The only way I see Randy pulling this out is if he leans against Machida for 15 minutes or if he lays on Machida for 15 minutes.

    I’d much rather see Machida v Franklin or the winner of Jones/Bader and see Randy vs the mic at the commentators table.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Well said LP. He gets way too much credit for stuff. He gets heralded as one of the best ever but doesn’t have the win loss stats to back it up. He gets called a brilliant strategist but follows the same game plan every time with few variations. He is a five time champ but was handed title shots whenever he wanted, even after losses. He has very little sub ability, has no power to speak of, kicks twice a decade and only finishes his opponents 50% of the time.
    I like Randy and he has upset a few fighters with his style and competitive spirit but he was never a great fighter. In his prime he was a fighter that was hard to beat and more than difficult for the divisions top fighters and he would have been in the mix if he had not have just been given title shots but he is massively overrated.
    In a way I hope I’m wrong and he makes a go of this fight but I really can’t see it and think that Randy’s last fight in the UFC will be something he may regret.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    At 1 stage in Randy’s career it went L W W L W L W L which is 4-4. He had 5 title shots in that time.
    What a F#CKING joke. Fighters have gone 4-4 in the UFC and been cut.

  • LiverPunch says:

    He actually went 5-5 and had 6 title shots. Vs Ricco, Liddell, Ortiz, Belfort, Liddell and Sylvia But yes it is a F#CKING joke.
    I think you will find it hard to find anyone who went 5-5 in the UFC that had 1 title shot let alone 6.
    The more I think about it the more it makes me angry.
    Out of those 10 fights where he was 5-5, 9 were title fights. How you can lose 5 title fights by stoppage in 10 matches and still get a title shot at a weight class you have not participated in for nearly 5 years and, what’s more is that it was after a loss in the division below. It is a riddle future stats analysts will be left pondering.
    I’ll say it, Couture is a fraud. He was a good fighter capable of beating anyone on his day with a great competitive drive that is to be admired but his legend is based on things that should have never happened and myth.

  • MCM says:

    What you guys fail to realize is that Randy doesn’t need to beat everybody in the division….just the champs. And that’s what he does, he beats up champions. Call him a fraud all you want but if Randy is put into a title fight against a reigning champ, he’ll come out the winner almost every time.
    Sylvia, Ortiz, Belfort, Randleman, and Smith were all dethroned by Randy. In fact, the only sitting champion Randy ever faced that was able to keep his title was Chuck Liddell, and they were 1-1 in championship fights. 19-10 is not impressive, until you consider that half of those wins he was either winning a belt or successfully defending it.

  • LiverPunch says:

    He only ever defended a belt against 2 fighters MCM. Rizzo and Gonzaga. Lesnar defended his belt against just as many fighters and he only had it once. Clearly if he went 5-5 and had 6 title shots he should of been facing other fighters. The only non title fight was Van Arsdale during that time. So he went 5-5 in 10 matches and only 1 was not a title shot of some sort. He is 11-8 over the last 10 years. If I just gave you the wins and losses and told you that there were 6 title shots you would not believe me L, L.W,W,L,W,L,W,L,W,L,W and 6 title shots is insane and should not have happened. That is 4 title shots after a loss in 10 fights. He is a fraud and I don’t count him amongst the best of the sport.
    That is just the way I see it.

  • stone says:

    I’ve never been impressed by Machida other than the 2 KO’s in a row… After Rashad, he just went back to the same ol’ back pedaling goofy stance fighter he was before… Randy has won us over with his personality but the truth is, he hasn’t really done too much either… They’ll probably make this a main-event too! Too bad for us!

  • Rece Rock says:


    Geez if The Natural walked into the room and you had the opportunity to talk to him most of you would blow a load in your pants… Randy is a Champion and great ambassador of the sport. He may not be the best ever but a living legend he is. If he was worried about his record he could have taken a dozen fights in smaller promotions beat up unworthy opponents and inflated his record… aside from Toney when was the last time Randy walked into the cage and you thought to yourself that the match was lopsided and it was a given Win for him??? Almost Never. Randy is the man, get over yourselves. And I can’t wait for The Expendables 2!

  • Niv says:

    Well guys I can’t agree in saying Couture was a fraud, but I’ve always been miffed at the double standards employed today when talking about smaller promotions.

    Today everyone has a huge list of complaints about Strikeforce for having a title fight with a guy coming off a loss. I agree the situation isn’t ideal, but if we temper the comments and look at things reasonably they’re no different than what the UFC dealt with when it was the smaller show.

    I won’t blame Couture for being given several title shots with at least a couple coming off of losses, he still was a good fighter. The situation is what it is and I just hope next time someone decides to slam a smaller organization they be fair about it.

    Also just because an organization is smaller doesn’t always mean their fighters are inferior either, when I think HW’s I think Fedor, Overeem 1st before anyone else, Velasquez and JDS would be next on my list at HW just for arguments sake.

  • Dufresne says:

    The only title fight that I’ll comment on is his move up to HW after not having competed there for years. Just looking at it on the surface, I’ll agree, it looks baffling. But when you look at how terrible the HW division was at the time, it kinda makes sense.

    The champ was Tim Sylvia who looked like a complete monster at the time. He was 23-2 with his only losses being the snapped arm against Mir and the submission loss to AA. But the rest of the division was stagnant. Sylvia had just won a complete snoozefest against Jeff Monson, before that was quite possibly the 2nd most boring fight in his career against AA in their rubber match, and before that was the rematch with AA where he won the belt back which was actually kind of entertaining if a bit sloppy.

    There was literally no one in the HW division that deserved a title fight.

    It’s a sad reason to give a guy a title fight, but it’s a real one. And Randy made the best of the situation.


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