Randy Couture is 46 this month. I repeat, 46. And those 46 years haven’t exactly been spent hanging out on the couch resting. Some statistics:
– He is 16-9 including fights with Brock Lesnar, Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz, Vitor Belfort, Tim Sylvia, Pedro Rizzo, Josh Barnett and Gabriel Gonzaga
– 13 of his last 14 bouts have either been defending his title or fighting for one
– 9 of the 20 competitors he has faced were title holders in the UFC at one time
At 46 I’m not sure I’ll be able to swiftly climb a flight of stairs let alone climb in to the octagon and face 33 year old Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira…but that’s what awaits Randy Couture at UFC 102 in Portland in August of this year.
A mixed martial arts career simply takes its toll. Sometimes age isn’t even a factor. Wanderlei Silva is a good example of someone that shows the signs of a lifetime of fighting. He has been a warrior in the ring and octagon and as a result, his every day stride is a bit more hobbled than the average 32 year old. Focus in on The Axe Murderer on a day when he isn’t throwing bombs in the octagon and you will notice that his kind demeanor is combined with the movement of someone twice his age. It’s painful to watch.
That’s what makes Randy so impressive. He is the real life Rocky Balboa. He didn’t look completely overpowered against Lesnar and when he puts it all on the line against Nogueira, his age will be a non-issue.
I don’t know how this one will play out. And I’m not certain I like the possibilities. Randy wins and who would he face – Carwin? Velasquez? Honestly, I hope not. Either one of those two could do some damage to the elder statesman.
Whatever the result, he will draw a crowd to Portland. If this ends up being the last one, you want to be there for it. If his career continues post Nogueira, it is because he pulled off another amazing performance.
As a 46 year legend in MMA, one could debate how many more fights make sense. As a fan, we’ll take as many as he is willing to give.
All the best Rocky – you’re an inspiration.