Post-retirement life for UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture has been anything but quiet. The two-division champion has starred in several blockbuster movies, had key roles in TV series along with a host of other promotional appearances and work. While he still loves MMA and acknowledges it will always be a part of his life, if he's being candid, he can't confess to the sport being as central to things as it used to be.
"I think maybe a little less of a part of it than I've been, maybe for some obvious reasons," Couture told Ariel Helwani on Monday's The MMA Hour when discussing his involvement in the sport today. "I think being busy, trying to promote and progress my own career on the acting and entertainment side of the house has taken up a lot of my time. I think the strained relationship with Zuffa certainly has had its effect and, in some ways, soured me on some of it."
Yet, he hasn't abandoned the sport. He still owns and operates (when he can) his Xtreme Couture Gym in Las Vegas as well as affiliates. He's taken part in a reality series for Spike TV and Bellator MMA. And in addition to myriad other contributions, still coaches and corners his son Ryan Couture.
That doesn't mean, however, Couture watches a lot of MMA. In fact, he believes as a consumer, there's probably too much of it right now to follow in any kind of dedicated way.
"I think the market is maybe a little satured. It's hard to track where things are happening, where to find things. Unless one of my guys from the gym is fighting, I honestly don't get the chance or don't make a huge effort to tune in."
On the flip side, however, Couture takes a slightly different position when viewing things as a former fighter or on behalf of fighters themselves. The former UFC star says consumers might have a hard time with the content, but it's a fighters market out there and that's something that can't be overlooked.
"I've been to one or two World Series of Fighting shows," he said. "I think they're great. I think Ray [Sefo]'s doing a great job and they've got some great talent. I've been to three or four Bellator shows now and I really like the direction they're headed in. I'm excited. I think all those things, having all those other playing fields on the board here for mixed martial artists is great for the fighters.
"If you can't get a fair shake somewhere, then maybe you need to look at what you're doing because I think there's at least three good places you can go, get a decent contract, get a fair shake and ply your wares. Get a chance to make a living as a mixed martial artist."
So while a crowded MMA landscape may not make a lot of sense for all parties or even be sustainable, "that's certainly good for us as fighters," Couture argued.