Randy “The Natural” Couture made his second appearance on Submission Radio to not only talk about his new show Gym Rescue, and the release of Expendables 3, but also “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko. Randy talks about how close he came to competing at Metamoris for his friend Chael Sonnen, and if he would face Fedor in a future Metamoris event.
The UFC Hall of Famer also breaks down what his game plan would have been, had he faced the dominant Russian. Couture also weighs in on Mark Bocek’s comments on PED’s in MMA, who hit him the hardest, who he hit the hardest, the exhibition fight between Tito Ortiz and Dana White, Floyd Mayweather vs Ronda Rousey, Scott Coker’s new Bellator contracts, the fight between Diaz and Silva, as well as Jones vs Cormier, and of course, that terrible triangle from Lethal Weapon 1.
Interview highlights below
On how close Randy came to replacing Sonnen at Metamoris
“Well I certainly considered it. Chael called me up, obviously Chael and I have been personal friends for a long, long time and he thought I might be a viable candidate to step up if he decided to opt out, because of the pressure and the commission in Nevada, but I had to be honest with him and that’s a very high calibre match. I have a lot of respect for his opponent (Andre Galvao). To take that on a week’s notice, not having any time to prepare, wouldn’t have been the wisest of decisions to do that. As well as having all the press junkets and the premier coming up last Monday anyway, there just would have been no way to really pull that off and be effective. So you know, I don’t know, it just didn’t make sense to me to do it as much as I liked to have helped.”
On the potential of seeing Randy versus Fedor in a grappling match at an event such as Metamoris
“That would be interesting and certainly given the time to prepare and get back up into good, solid grappling and wrestling shape, that would be a lot of fun and I think, you know. I’m not sure how active Fedor is at this stage, you know him being retired as well, but I’m certainly not opposed to an idea like that.”
On how he would have approached the strengths of Fedor in their fight
“You know I think given his judo background it would have been interesting to approach him the way I approached a lot of guys that were as powerful in striking as him. He would have been a challenge to kinda neutralize with my Greco Roman background and tie him up on the fence. Obviously I think it would make a difference if we were in a fence or a ring. A lot of his best fights were in a ring, they weren’t in a cage. So I feel like my chances where certainly in the infighting and the clinch fighting to maybe make him work a little harder than a lot of guys did, but he always seemed to be very fit. I didn’t see a weakness there and I think it’s one of the reasons I always wanted to fight him, because it would have been a huge challenge.”
“Like a Lyoto Machida, he was such an odd, interesting style. He was very hard to train for him and figure out the solutions to the problems that he posed. I think Fedor would’ve been an interesting problem to solve as well.”
How active Randy still is in terms of MMA
“I spend a lot of time in the gym, I just don’t do a lot of sparring. I really don’t do a lot of striking at all. If I did do striking it’s with our kickboxing coaches to hit mitts and keep the tools sharp, but I do a little more grappling. It’s a little less invasive on the neck and the face and those things. You know, I’ve kind of taken a beating over the years”
On PED’s in MMA
“I think there’s always going to be some guys that try to cut corners, who are looking for that short cut or that loop hole, and are willing to kinda take that risk. I mean the penalty is pretty significant. If you get caught, you’re gonna lose the opportunity for at least a year to make a living in your sport. And I mean not to mention the damage to your reputation. So I think there are guys, always gonna be a handful of guys that are willing to kinda take those risks. And I think there was a loop hole that maybe some of the guys where using a little bit with the TRT programs which obviously has been closed recently and made a lot of headlines”
On disagreeing with Mark Bocek’s statement about PED’s being rampant in MMA
“I didn’t really agree with mark’s statement that it was rampant in Mixed Martial Arts. I don’t think it’s rampant. I think if it was rampant there’d be a lot more guys coming up positive on tests, and there’s certainly been a few guys, but if it was rampant then it would be a whole lot more. So I don’t know that I agree with that statement, but you know it’s human nature.”
On if Jones would be at the top of the LHW division if he went back in time and competed with the old school guys like Liddell, Couture, Silva, Vitor in their prime.
“I mean I think he has all the tools that he needs to be at the top of the division back then or now. I think there would have been some toss up fights just like him and Daniel Cormier, I mean who’s going to win that fight? Both guys are very tough, I think obviously Daniel has Jon’s undivided attention right now. That’s why he’s been kinda acting the fool and doing some of the things that he’s been doing, but it’s really hard to say until guys actually get in the cage and fight. You can debate it all day long.”
On who randy hit the hardest.
“I think the person I hit the hardest was Gabe Gonzaga. I came out in the first fifteen seconds of that fight, hit him with a left hook that I don’t he expect me to strike with him at all, and I think that kinda changed his mind about where he was in that fight. Obviously I think the takedown was really the game changer in the grand scheme of the fight, but I think that first shot that I caught him with backed him up to the fence and put us in that clinch game that I like so much. But the only time I ever really came close to knocking somebody out was the Tim Silvia fight. You know that first punch in the first 25 seconds of that fight, and I was just as surprised as everybody when he fell down.”
On who hit Randy the hardest in his career
“Well I’ve only really been knocked out one time. I got flashed by Lesnar, I got flashed by Chuck in the third fight, but the second fight with Chuck was the only time I really got knocked out and kinda lost that little piece of time. So I mean that has to be the hardest I’ve ever been hit in my 14 years as a fighter.”
Thoughts on the exhibition fight between Dana White and Tito Ortiz that almost happened and who Randy thinks would have won
“It’s really hard to say. Obviously limited rules of engagement with just boxing is probably in Dana’s favour. I don’t think that Tito ever really took it seriously, which is why it never occurred. He backed out of it a couple of times. And Tito’s boxing certainly something he worked on a lot, and he’s gotten a lot better at over the years. Whether or not he could have hung with a guy that’s Dana sole background is a question we’ll probably never get answered.”
“I think it’s a little silly for the president of a hundred million dollar company to be fighting with his talent. And it’s really a lose/lose for Tito as one their marquee fighters for him to lose to the president of the company. Didn’t really make a lot of sense to me. So it’s probably a fortunate thing that it didn’t happen for both parties.”
“I think maybe they both lose in that fight, even if Tito goes out and beats him. Well, who did he really beat? And if he loses to Dana, that doesn’t look so great for the company and one of the companies top performers in Mixed Martial Arts either.”
On Ronda Rousey vs. Mayweather
“Well again, what are the rules of engagement? is it a boxing match? If it’s a boxing match I don’t think she’d stand a chance in a boxing match with Floyd. If it’s an MMA engagement I think Floyd would be done in about two minutes.”
On prediction on Diaz vs Silva
“Really interesting, and both these guys and their styles. You know in some ways they have very similar fighting styles, with the boxing. (It’d) be interesting to see what kinda of game plan that Diaz comes up with and how he approaches a guy like a Silva. Still some questions with Silva’s first fight back after the leg injury and how is he gonna hold up, and really how much desire is there for him to continue to fight, and grind out camps, and get into top level fights.”
“Well they both might just stand there and kinda taunt each other and nobody would throw a punch too, it could be that kinda fight. But hopefully they get after it and I kinda like Diaz in that fight.”
On Scott Coker and the changes he’s made to new Bellator contracts.
“I think Scott’s already made some changes in just one month. Obviously my son just signed the contract with them, a 4 fight deal, and I get a look at the contract and the changes that Scott’s already made to the fighter contracts is pretty significant, and loosening those contracts and truly trying to establish a better rapport with the fighters. Not being in the position to be suing fighters and legal action with fighters, but the ability of partnership, helping them get endorsements, and really kinda build the brand. I think you’re gonna see a considerable re-branding of Bellator with Scott’s tutelage. He’s been one of those guys over the years that I’ve met in the fight game that I have a tone of respect for. He’s a hand shake type of guy. He says he’s gonna do something for you, he’s gonna do it. There will be no hmmm-in or humm-in or bullcrap about it. So I’m very excited about Scott getting involved there, and I’m also excited that Ryan’s going to be getting a chance to get back in the cage and fight.”
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