More than anything, I really hope that I’m not jumping the gun here.
Or worse, jumping to conclusions based on the following message announced on Randy Couture’s Facebook wall about an hour ago (Dec. 14, 9pm ET).
“Appreciate everyone commenting on my fights. I didn't get the memo that they were being shown :) I think I'm at the end of it! It's time to move on and focus on all the other amazing things going on in my life! It's time. Thanks R”
It would appear that “the Natural” has finally decided to hang up his gloves for good in order to pursue other aspirations in his life.
And I think that’s great.
Therefore, as a farewell tribute, I would like to take a moment to tell you about some of the things that I truly respect the most about Mr. Couture.
For starters, Couture gave (and continues to give) everything of himself into this sport.
Without a doubt, you will not find a greater ambassador to the culture of Mixed Martial Arts (let alone the UFC) than this man right here.
He is (not “was”) the epitome of a Champion, and of how a Champion should carry themselves both inside and outside of the cage.
In today’s modern era of what is becoming “sports entertainment,” where some athletes feel compelled to create fake personas in the hopes that their personal villainization will sell more pay-per-views (think Josh Koscheck), Couture has always conducted himself in a respectful and honourable way.
Couture always “kept it real.”
What’s not to love about that?
That level of behaviour is to be eternally commended and I sincerely hope that a lot of young fighters can learn from Couture and take that part away with them when they think about what it means to be a true Champion.
I would consider Couture to be an ideal role-model for all young and aspiring mixed martial artists (or athletes in general) around the world.
As a father and youth football coach, I see a lot of good in Randy, and I sincerely appreciate his efforts to help younger fighters by acting as a coach and as a mentor.
The world needs more leaders like Randy Couture.
For me personally, I would have loved to have seen Couture fight one last time (bring on Machida, eh Randy?! LOL).
Not that it wasn’t completely satisfying to see Couture absolutely dismantle and embarrass the obnoxiously over-confident James Toney this past summer in Boston—because it was.
Then again, if it were up to me, Couture would never retire, but I know that is both selfish and unrealistic.
It saddens me a bit to think that we are losing one of the greatest fighters (and personalities) that our sport has ever seen, but if I honestly reflect on my points mentioned above, I can certainly come to terms with Couture’s retirement much more easily because I know that he will always be a part of this sport in many other significant ways.
There’s a lot about MMA that I don’t like, but the pros always seem to outweigh the cons.
Couture has always been a big part of that.
Thanks for everything Randy and on behalf of your fans, we wish you all the best in wherever life takes you.
You’ve earned it.
This is my article. If you don’t like it...I have others. Please check them out at www.mrjamesryan.com
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