If there is ever a moment for 'retired' veterans to get back into mixed martial arts (MMA), it's probably now.
Lots of smaller promotions would likely be interested, but so would Bellator MMA. The Viacom-backed organization has made it a point to bring back long-time veterans, even those in their fifties.
While that's been met with some pushback from fans, there's an open question of what it would mean for former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Randy Couture. According to 'The Natural', he's been approached to return, but ultimately believes his best days are behind him.
"I was approached when Fedor [Emelianenko] threw his hat back into the ring after a four, five year layoff," Couture told Inside MMA on Friday. "I was the first one they came to. It's certainly something you have to consider and take seriously, but it's not really about money. I think one of the more rational decisions I've probably made in my life was the decision to step down and hang them up."
Couture, 52, last fought in April of 2011, a second-round TKO at the hands of Lyoto Machida at UFC 129. Since then, he's starred in movies, television shows, and coached his son Ryan in Bellator MMA. While Couture hasn't explicitly stated a return is impossible, he is clear he's satisfied with his record to date and what he's accomplished in the sport.
"You want to be remembered as somebody that had integrity and that represented the sport in a positive way," Couture noted. "I think I accomplished that."
I'm happy with how the fans seem to remember me and the ones that come up to me all the time and talk to me, want a picture. I'm very happy with how that's come out.
While Couture never stated who, precisely, asked for his services, a call from Bellator MMA seems to be a reasonable conclusion. Check out Couture's comments on this issue and others below:
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They say behind every strong man is a strong woman. In turn, behind every strong woman there is an even stronger man. For in this day it is expected that man will persue his dreams and the woman will support him. It is beyond the understanding of many that a woman dare to pursue her dream and the man support her equally in her endeavors. His dedication to her goes beyond any conventional meaning of the word love. He will sacrifice time and time again to see her smile. He often suffers the heavy ridicule of others that cannot understand that he only wishes to love and support her every desire. He is told he is weak by the masses, when in truth he is her hero. Only she knows it is his strength that inspires her strength. That the road he walks silently most will never see, but she will. Thank you @BryanCaraway I see the road you walk, and the strength it takes for you to pursue your own dream and support mine in a world where that seems to be a foreigner concept. People fear what they do not understand.ladies if you have a man like this give me an Amen, gentlemen if you are this man, RESPECT!!
Derrick Lewis has no chill:
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Competition doesn't BUILD character; it REVEALS character....and all of you saw Jake's character revealed tonight... As a member of the grappling community, I apologize for Jake Shields' behavior..... Jake, I know I'm speaking for everyone here when I call upon you to apologize for your unsportsmanlike behaviour, and to admit you were wrong.... Your "easy night" didn't end in victory I didn't stall or run I came right at you and YOU COULDN'T DELIVER So APOLOGIZE TO THE GRAPPLING COMMUNITY Be A Man. To the fans, Polaris is VIBRANT! They are revolutionizing the sport and getting it done. They are working for the community! There's a reason why I'm here and you can count on me to always stand my ground and bring the show. Thank YOU all for a memorable night and another one for the record books. ------> @bjjstyle #Polaris3
Jake Shields and AJ Agazarm really hate each other. Did I say that?
Probably a lot:
I wonder how many "pussy" lines we will get? https://t.co/pogrqOMnog— Mike Jackson, Esq. (@TheTruthJackson) April 2, 2016
Brandon Gibson is good people:
Wishing the champ - @dc_mma a strong recovery.— Brandon Gibson (@SixGunGibson) April 2, 2016
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