RANDY COUTURE: “The Natural Thing to Do…”
Las Vegas courtroom drama continued with lawyers for Zuffa (LLC), which is the UFC’s parent company, recently filing a formal lawsuit between the Ultimate Fighting Championship and its Heavy-Weight Champion; Randy ‘The Natural’ Couture, alleging that Couture made derogatory comments about the UFC and its upper management, which they claim has caused irreparable damage to their organization, also that Couture is now in breach of his original contract.
The Zuffa attorney handling the case alleges that Couture made several intentional damaging statements, which have caused significant harm to both Zuffa and the UFC. Because of this, the companies decided to bring the matter before a Nevada court of law, seeking punitive and compensatory damages in excess of $10,000. Zuffa and UFC representatives state that they are also seeking a Restraining Order that would forbid Couture from participating in any type of promotions, which may in any way compete with the UFC!
This lawsuit marks the height of an accumulating line of disagreements between former close friends; Randy Couture and UFC President Dana White. White says, “He (Randy) is not living up to his obligations. Randy is not keeping his word.”
Because of their ongoing dispute, Randy Couture has since resigned from the UFC.
“Randy Naturally Wants Fedor!”
During his 2007 NAMMAE Seminar, in which there was plenty of audience participation, I handed Randy Couture a microphone and proceeded to interview ‘The Natural’…
One of my first questions produced a heart-warming answer from the still actively listed reigning Heavy-Weight UFC Champion:
AMAM: Who is your main inspiration? (Thinking he’d name a former trainer or his favorite fighter.)
Couture: The first person who really inspired me was my mother. She was always there to motivate me onwards and still does.
AMAM: Whom do you wish to fight
Couture: The thing that seems most logical right now is to challenge Fedor Emelianenko. He’s the one I want now. I intend to make that fight happen somehow. However, somehow I think that Dana (White) may object to this? (Laughs from the audience)
AMAM: Do you have any advice to those young fighters who may find themselves trapped under their opponents’ Mount to minimize the potential for the ‘Ground & Pound’ they may receive?
Couture: Well, first I’d work on options that may allow you to not find yourselves in that dangerous position. The Guard isn’t always the best place to wind up for defense. There are some techniques that I’d suggest in order to better avoid this.
(Randy then invited an audience member up onstage to demonstrate some viable options.)
Afterwards, another young audience member asked Randy, “What do you suggest to gain better positioning against a superior Wrestler while still on my feet so that I don’t lose balance and be easily taken down to the ground into a possible Submission?”
(To the youngsters delight, Couture then welcomed him to the stage in order to demonstrate some head and neck control options atop some floor-mats that had been set up for this purpose.)
AMAM: Having gotten your start in Wrestling, how do you now feel about your striking skills and how did you begin to develop this?
Couture: Well, I spent a lot of years training in Wrestling, having gotten a long ways with that. Nowadays, in order to be more competitive in MMA, one must become a well-rounded and complete fighter. So, I spend quality time in the gym with expert trainers focusing on that area too. I train in Boxing and Kick-Boxing as well as Wrestling and Grappling all together now.
AMAM: You and Bas Rutten are now co-owners of the popular new ‘Legends’ gym in Hollywood, California, are you ever there to train its students?
Couture: I’m really not there as much as I’d like to be as I’m kept pretty busy with my own ‘Xtreme Couture’ gym. I haven’t focused on teaching there at all, but there’s a very professional training staff there though, and it’s a really good place to train in MMA here in Los Angeles.
After another round of technical questions from the anxious audience, Couture again invited more individuals onstage for additional brief demonstrations atop the mats…to everyone’s combined delight!
(From this point in his seminar, mainly due to the enthusiastic audience members understandably vying to ask more questions of one of their heroes, I resigned myself to taking dozens of close up pictures of Randy during the remaining Q & A portion while the questions flew at him. I found Randy to not only be highly intelligent, but sincerely kind and forth-coming. I felt happy to find him to be a very genuine person worthy of all our admiration and respect!)