UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture felt pain he thought was an “offset rib or vertebrae” during a workout on Wednesday. He tried to work it out with a roller, finished his workout, and went home to rest. When the pain didn’t subside, he walked himself to the hospital to avoid Los Angeles traffic.
Turns out, he was having a heart attack.
In a statement released today by Xtreme Couture Management, Couture, 56, explained the cardiac episode that briefly landed him in the intensive care unit at Cedars Sinai Hospital. After being diagnosed with a heart attack, he went into surgery and had a stent placed in the diagonal artery of his heart to remove a blockage he attributed to “crazy thick blood and nominally high bad cholesterol.”
Couture expressed gratitude to the medical team that attended to him and thanked fans for their support.
“Contrary to recent rumors, I have not kicked the bucket yet,” Couture wrote. “I am alive and well. Special thanks to the amazing staff at Cedars Sinai Hospital. From the ER to cardiac ICU thanks for taking care of me.
“I’m one of those people that has crazy thick blood and nominally high bad cholesterol. Unfortunately, those 2 factors combined to create a nice clot including my diagonal artery. The (catheterization laboratory) at Cedars got right on it, cleared it out and placed a stent in its place.
“Thanks to all of you out there expressing your concern. Your love and support mean the world to me and my family. Live your lives to the fullest. You never know when you’ll draw that last breath in!”
Couture remains hospitalized at Cedars for observation and additional tests and is expected to make a full recovery. It’s unclear at the moment whether he’ll be back at the commentary desk for the third playoff event in the PFL’s second season on Oct. 31.
“On behalf of the PFL family, we wish our partner and friend Randy Couture a speedy recovery. We’re all in his corner and look forward to having him back in the booth,” said PFL CEO Peter Murray in a prepared statement.
One of MMA’s most decorated fighters, Couture retired from active competition in 2011 to pursue a full-time career as an actor, entertainer and commentator. He recently appeared on the broadcast of the PFL’s 2019 playoffs at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
Below is the full statement from Xtreme Couture Management:
“On Wednesday afternoon, October 23, Randy “The Natural” Couture was admitted and treated for a heart attack at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, CA.
“During a workout at Randy’s LA training home Unbreakable Performance in West Hollywood, CA, Randy experienced discomfort in what he initially thought was an offset rib or vertebrae. He tried working on a roller to relieve the problem - but that was not successful. Incredibly, Randy finished the entire workout while likely having the beginnings of a heart attack. Shortly thereafter, he drove home and attempted to rest. When the radiating chest pain did not cease, he recognized something was wrong.
“He proceeded to walk multiple blocks to a nearby emergency room rather than battle Los Angeles traffic. Upon his arrival, after an EKG, the medical staff informed Randy he had a heart attack, and would require immediate surgery to resolve the issue.
“The surgery was successful. Randy is now out of intensive care, stable, in good spirits, and well on his way to a speedy and full recovery.”