When you think about the Mount Rushmore of MMA, Randy Couture immediately comes to mind.
“The Natural” was a three-time UFC heavyweight champion, two-time UFC light heavyweight champion and won the UFC 13 Heavyweight Tournament title.
Plain and simply, when Couture talks the sport, you listen.
Recently, he appeared on Submission Radio and gave his insight into a number of fighters, including Conor McGregor, Jose Aldo and Ronda Rousey.
On if Randy thinks it’s possible for McGregor to be a duel champion
“I think it’s possible. I certainly think it’s possible. I don’t think it’s outside the realm of possibility for other guys to talk about doing it. Obviously nobody’s pulled that off and maintained two title belts at the same time. I suspect it would be a little easier in the lighter weights because those weight classes are so much closer together. But they are very deep. Both those weight classes are terribly deep with talent. And sometimes styles, as you know, make the fight. So it will be interesting to see how that progresses and if that’s where he ends up.”
Thoughts on the UFC releasing Jose Aldo’s locker room footage after his loss
“Well, we can probably go down the list of fighters that have not been shown or been kind of dumped on by the promotion. I don’t think at the end of the day the promotion cares that much. I don’t think they had Jose Aldo’s best interests at heart there. Did they have Georges St-Pierre’s best interest at heart? And that was after a victory, but because he wanted to take a hiatus, all the things that were said and done with regard to Georges – I certainly might fall into that category if I wanted to start talking about that – but there’s certainly been other fighters that, you know, they [UFC] do what they think is best for them at the end of the day.”
“Here’s my question. Where were his handlers? Where were his trainers? Those are the guys – and having been in that situation after the Chuck Liddell fight, after retiring in the third Chuck Liddell fight, my guys weren’t letting those [camera] guys in. You know, that was our space. They wanted me to have that space. And I remember specifically, Nate Quarry hollering at the camera men and telling him, ‘look get outa here’ and not letting them in the room.”
On if Randy thinks it’s possible for McGregor to Co-Promote with the UFC
“Well I know that was a huge stumbling block with Fedor and trying to sign Fedor, back when I was pursuing that fight specifically as a contracted fighter with the UFC and that was the fight that I told them that I wanted. I was ranked number two in the world; he was ranked number one in the world at the time. I know they negotiated with him for a long time, but M-1 Global wanted to do co-promotion, and they were kind of handling and managing, representing Fedor. And that was a stumbling block. They were like, ‘no we’re not going to put anybody else over. We don’t need another promotion, we don’t need a co-promotion, we’re the UFC and that’s it’. So I would be very surprised if that happens. I would be interested to hear that conversation and how that would get by.”
If Randy thinks Ronda Rousey is able to make the necessary adjustments to be ready for Holm in time for UFC 200
“Yes, I think she can make the adjustments she needs to make. And it’s purely a function of focus and game plan. I think after knocking her last opponent out, I think she was maybe a little over-confident with her striking, didn’t give Holly the credit that Holly deserved as a world-class boxer and kickboxer, and went out and kind of tried to strike with her, and paid the price with a southpaw that had a great jab and great footwork and was elusive and just kept tagging her. So I think those are things that can be fixed. Change your footwork, change your approach to closing the distance and getting her hands on Holly, and then making Holly operate where she’s strongest. How many Judo medallists do we have in the sport, grapplers at that level, do we have in that sport? Time and time again, that’s where she’s won her fights. And it looked to me like she thought she’d be able to go out there and strike with a world class boxer, and that’s always a bad idea. Would have been a bad idea for me to do it with James Toney, I think was a bad idea for her to do it with Holly Holm.”
On how the UFC handled Miesha Tate and retracting her title shot, and what’s in store for Miesha’s future
“I think it’s a shame. As hard as Miesha works and as much as she’s done for the sport and the women’s division, that she got overlooked. Look at the guys that Conor McGregor stepped over to get his title shot. And obviously he backed it up, and Holly Holm certainly backed it up when nobody thought she would. But still, why have rankings if you not gonna honour them and kind of use that, it just doesn’t make a lot of sense. So I understand Miesha’s frustration. I don’t think it’s really fair. Again, it doesn’t make sense why you would even post rankings and have ranked fighters if you’re not gonna go by those rankings. What good are they?”
“So I don’t know if Miesha’s really gonna retire. I know she’s getting a little bit of a taste of doing some of the entertainment and acting stuff, and seems to enjoy it. I think she still has contribution in the women’s division. She’s amazingly talented and a hard worker, so it’s really what’s in her heart that’s most important.”
If Randy thinks Miesha Tate should fight Holm while Rousey heals up and how he thinks the fight would play out
“I think if she’s honest and she’s not ready [Rousey], then she shouldn’t fight until she feels like she is ready. And then you go to the next person in the rankings, and that would be in my opinion, I think is Miesha Tate. And it would be interesting. I think Miesha’s a smart and diligent fighter. I think she has the grappling and wrestling ability to exploit that possible weakness in Holly’s game. I don’t think she’s going to go out and try and stand around and strike with Holly Holm at all, especially after what Holly demonstrated against Ronda. So it’s an interesting fight. And therein lies the business decision, and the problems that the promotion has, is what’s good for them and what’s going to continue to make them money and put butts in the seats. They don’t always take the fighters into consideration when they’re putting that equation together. It’s about what’s going to be sensational, what’s going to be a good business decision for them.”