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Randy Duane Couture (born June 22, 1963) is an American mixed martial artist, Greco-Roman wrestler, actor, a three-time former heavyweight champion and a two-time light-heavyweight champion of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Couture is one of only two UFC fighters to have held a championship title in two different divisions (heavyweight and light heavyweight; B.J. Penn, with his titles at welterweight and lightweight, is the other) in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, as well as the only five-time champion in UFC history. Couture has competed in 15 title fights, a record. Couture is a member of the UFC Hall of Fame and many consider him to be the most popular fighter in MMA history.Randy is also the oldest man to win a fight in the UFC being 46 years old.

Couture has been an Olympic wrestling alternate, and has lived in Corvallis, Oregonmarker throughout much of his career, where he served as an assistant wrestling coach and a strength and conditioning coach for Oregon State Universitymarker. He established Team Quest with Matt Lindland and Dan Henderson, a training camp for fighters, based out of Gresham, Oregonmarker, and headed by coach Robert Folis. In 2005 Couture moved to Las Vegasmarker, where he opened his own extensive chain of gyms under the name Xtreme Couture. He currently trains at his Las Vegas-based gym. Couture also partnered with Bas Rutten in the opening of Legends Gym in Hollywood, Californiamarker.

Couture is generally recognized as a clinch and ground-and-pound fighter who uses his wrestling ability to execute take downs, establish top position and successively strike the opponent on the bottom. Couture has also displayed a variety of skills in boxing, Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu; submitting two opponents using different chokeholds. Couture is the only athlete in UFC history to win a championship after becoming a Hall of Fame member and is the oldest title holder ever (in the UFC and MMA). Along with Chuck Liddell, Couture is widely credited for bringing mixed martial arts into the mainstream of American pop culture and sports.

Wrestling career

Couture wrestled at Alderwood Middle School in Lynnwood, Washingtonmarker then moved onto Lynnwood High School where he won a State Championship during his senior year. Couture served in the U.S. Army from 1982–1988.

Upon discharge, he became a three-time Olympic team alternate (1988, 1992 and 1996); a semifinalist at the 2000 Olympic Trials; a three-time National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division-I All-American and a two-time NCAA Division-I runner-up at Oklahoma State Universitymarker.

In 1992 he was the Division-I runner up at 190 pounds, coming in second after Mark Kerr. Couture was settling into life as a wrestling coach, until he saw a video of a UFC event and decided to pursue a career in mixed martial arts.

UFC career

Entering MMA

Randy Couture made his MMA debut at UFC 13, in May 1997. He entered the 4-man Heavyweight tournament, his first opponent being Tony Halme, also known as WWE wrestler Ludvig Borga. Outweighted by nearly 100 lbs, Couture scored a double-leg takedown right off the bat. After working some ground and pound, he got a back mount and secured a rear naked choke win in just less than a minute. His second fight that night was in the tournament finals against Steven "3d" Graham, yet another larger opponent at 290 lbs. Again Randy took the fight to the ground, scoring a TKO win at 3:13 minutes of the first round.

His next UFC appearance was in October 17, 1997, at UFC 15. He fought Vitor Belfort to determine the number 1 challanger of the Heavyweight belt. Couture was a massive underdog in that fight, as the 19-year-old Belfort was not only a Carlson Gracie blackbelt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but also had extremely fast hands and punching power, and was scheduled to compete for the Olympic trials in boxing for Brazilmarker.

Couture put on a display that began to earn him the reputation of a master strategist in the sport. After circling away from Vitor's powerful left hand, Couture got the clinch, but was unable to score a takedown. The fighters broke up, and when Vitor attempted a flurry of punches, Couture changed levels and took the fight to the ground. He immediately gained side control and landed strikes, and as Vitor scrambled to his feet, he also scored with knee strikes. Back on the feet Randy clinched again and wore Vitor out with dirty boxing. Around the 7 minute mark, Vitor was exhausted. Couture yet again took the fight to the ground, and finished with punches from back mount in what was one of the biggest upsets in early MMA history.

His next fight took place on December 21, 1997, at UFC Japan. He fought the then Heavyweight champion, Maurice Smith, who was making his second title defense after winning the belt from Mark Coleman earlier that year. In a slow paced, calculated fight, neither fighter was able to damage the other, but Randy scored several takedowns and had the positional control throughout the fight. After 21 minutes, he won a majority decision and became the new UFC heavyweight champion.

In 1998, the UFC wanted Couture to defend his belt against Bas Rutten, former King of Pancrase. Randy instead signed with Vale Tudo Japan and was stripped of the heavyweight belt. In Japan, he was matched up against Enson Inoue. After taking the fight to the ground, he was forced to tap out to an armbar just more than 90 seconds into the first round. His next fight was in March 20, 1999, for the Japanese Rings promotion. There he suffered a very controversial loss to Mikhail Illoukhine via Kimura, one which many fans blamed on a mistake by the referee. After that loss, Couture took a break from MMA to focus on his amateur wrestling career, with the 2000 Summer Olympics in sight.

He returned to MMA in October 2000 for the Rings King of Kings 2000 Tournament, where he defeated UFC veteran Jeremy Horn by unanimous decision in his first fight and defeated Pancrase veteran Ryushi Yanagisawa, also by unanimous decision, in the second fight. These two wins qualified him for the finals of the tournament, which would take place in early 2001. Before that, he was offered a shot at the UFC heavyweight title against Kevin Randleman in Nov. 17, 2000. Randy was taken down in the first two rounds, but he showed very good defense from his back, frustrating most of Kevin's ground and pound attempts. In the third round, he tripped Randleman to the mat and landed several strikes from the full mount, winning by referee stoppage. Couture had won the UFC belt for the second time.

In March 2001 he fought for the finals of the Rings King of Kings 2000 tournament. After dominating UFC veteran Tsuyoshi Kosaka in the first fight, he fought the semi finals against Valentijn Overeem, and was caught in a guillotine choke early in the fight. The tournament was eventually won by Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and Randy went back to the UFC after that.

His first title defense was against Brazilian Kickboxer Pedro Rizzo at UFC 31. This was also the first UFC under the Zuffa management, with Dana White as the new president. In one of the best and most brutal fights in MMA history, both fighters inflicted a lot of damage on each other. After 5 5-minute rounds, Randy was declared the winner by unanimous decision, which generated a lot of controversy as many fans felt Rizzo had won the fight. This prompted the UFC to set up an immediate rematch between the two, that took place at UFC 34, in November 2001. This time, Randy didn't have many problems, as he had adjusted to Rizzo's style and won a TKO stoppage in the 3rd round. His third title defense was in March 2002, against up-and-comer Josh Barnett. In the second round, Josh got on top of Randy and landed several strikes, winning by TKO. After the fight, it was revealed that Josh had tested positive for anabolic steroids; he was subsequently stripped of his title and left the UFC. Randy was then matched up against Ricco Rodriguez for the vacant UFC heavyweight belt at UFC 39, in late 2002. After dominating the first 3 rounds, the 39-year-old Randy began to show signs of fatigue. In the fourth round Ricco took him down and landed an elbow strike to the eye that broke Randy's orbital bone, forcing him to submit.

Light heavyweight title and trilogy with Liddell

After his two consecutive losses in the heavyweight division to larger opponents, Couture moved down a weight class to fight at 205 lbs in the UFC's light heavyweight division. In his light heavyweight debut, Couture took on long-time number one contender Chuck Liddell for the interim light heavyweight championship. Couture was again the underdog, but after outstriking Chuck for 3 rounds, he took the fight to the ground, and won by TKO via strikes from the mount position. Couture became the only UFC competitor to win championship titles in two weight classes, a feat since matched in 2008 by B. J. Penn; this earned Couture his nickname "Captain America". His next match was billed as a "Champion vs. Champion" fight in order to settle who was the rightful, undisputed champion of the division. Couture faced the five-time defending champion Tito Ortiz for the undisputed light heavyweight title. Couture won a unanimous decision and became the undisputed UFC light heavyweight champion at age 40.

Couture's first title defense at Light Heavyweight was against Vitor Belfort, whom he had defeated in 1997. In the first round, as Couture closed the distance to attempt a clinch, Belfort threw a left hook that grazed on his right eye. A piece of Belfort glove caused serious damage, and Vitor was declared the winner by medical stoppage. The rematch took place later that year, with Randy dominating all 3 rounds before winning by Medical stoppage due to a cut. That made him a 2-time Light Heavyweight champion, as well as 2-time Heavyweight champion.

On April 16, 2005, Couture lost his title and suffered the first knockout loss of his career in a rematch with Chuck Liddell. Couture came back in August with a win over Mike Van Arsdale to re-establish himself as a top contender. He faced Liddell again for the third and final time in a championship match on February 4, 2006, at UFC 57. He did not succeed, falling to a second round knockout. Immediately after the match, he announced his retirement from the sport.
Couture in 2005

On June 24, 2006, during The Ultimate Fighter 3 finale, which was broadcast live on Spike TV, Couture became the fourth fighter to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame, joining Royce Gracie, Dan Severn, and Ken Shamrock.


After retiring from the professional fighting circuit, Couture began appearing at UFC events as a regular broadcast commentator and as co-host of "Before/After The Bell" on The Fight Network. He also appeared in the Rob Schneider comedy Big Stan, along with fellow mixed martial artists Don Frye and Bob Sapp.

On Nov. 17, 2006, Couture decided to compete athletically again, facing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu champion Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza in a submission wrestling match. The bout ended in a draw.

Couture was featured on season two of Spike TV's reality show "Pros vs. Joes", which premiered on January 25, 2007. His teammates on the episode were Michael Irvin, Kevin Willis, and José Canseco. He returned for the finale, where he even took part in a football based round. His teammates were Willis, Randall Cunningham, Bruce Smith, Roy Jones Jr., and Tim Hardaway. Couture also had a brief cameo appearance on the season finale of the CBS show The Unit as a military guard and on the film Redbelt as a fight commentator. Couture also appeared on an episode of The History Channel's "Human Weapon" on September 27, 2007, and starred in the 2008 film, The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior.

Reclaiming the heavyweight title

Couture now trains at his own gym, Xtreme Couture.
On January 11, 2007, Couture appeared for an interview on the Spike TV magazine show, Inside the UFC, to announce his return from retirement. In a conversation with Joe Rogan, Couture confirmed that he would be facing Tim Sylvia for the UFC heavyweight championship at UFC 68 on March 3, 2007 and revealed that he had signed a four-fight, two-year deal with the company.

At the age of 43, Couture defeated then-champion Tim Sylvia at UFC 68 by unanimous decision to claim his third UFC heavyweight title. Couture's first punch, at :08 of the first round, sent the 6'8" (2.03m) Sylvia reeling to the mat. Couture controlled the pace of the fight for five rounds, smothering Sylvia with effective striking and numerous takedowns. All three judges' scored the bout 50-45 for Couture, making him the first fighter in UFC history to become a three-time champion.

On August 25, 2007, at UFC 74 at the Mandalay Bay Events Centermarker in Las Vegas, Couture defended his title against Gabriel Gonzaga, who previously defeated Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipović at UFC 70 to become the number one contender. In the fight, Couture defeated Gonzaga by TKO (strikes) to retain the title. Couture suffered a broken left arm from blocking one of Gonzaga's kicks during the course of the fight. The kick cleanly separated the ulna bone. The injury placed the UFC heavyweight champion’s arm in a splint for six weeks. This would be the least of Couture's worries, as shortly after the fight he would be embroiled in a legal battle with the UFC.

Resignation and dispute with the UFC

On October 11, 2007, Couture announced that he was severing all ties with the UFC, leaving two contracted fights, a position as an on-air analyst, and his heavyweight championship behind. He reportedly received $250,000, plus $936,000 of PPV revenue, for his comeback against Tim Sylvia. He also reportedly received a $250,000 purse for defeating Gabriel Gonzaga, as well as a $35,000 bonus for "Fight of the Night" and $787,000 in PPV revenue. This became a sticking point since Chuck Liddell lost his two previous fights yet is still being paid more, according to Couture. Couture cited the UFC's failure to sign #1 ranked heavyweight fighter Fedor Emelianenko, as well as disputes with UFC management.

UFC president Dana White said Thursday Oct. 18, 2007 that Couture remains the promotion's heavyweight champion despite his announced plans to quit. White also reiterated he would not release Couture from the final two fights on his UFC contract. Couture held a press conference on October 25, 2007 in which he denied his leaving of the UFC was a "retirement," set forth his grievances over the pay he received for his fights against Tim Sylvia and Gabriel Gonzaga, and reiterated his belief that he would be free from any contractual obligations to the UFC after nine months. On October 30, 2007, White and UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta held another press conference. There White reiterated the UFC's position that Couture remains the promotion's heavyweight champion despite his tendered resignation, and that Couture would remain obligated under his UFC contract well beyond nine months. White also released documents at the press conference to refute Couture's claims about the pay he analyzed language reportedly found in the UFC's standard contracts relating to fighter retirement which Sherdog believes clarifies the dispute over Couture's contractual status.

In another chapter to the Couture/UFC saga, White and Randy Couture met and had a "good" conversation at UFC 78. However, White also met with Couture during the Thanksgiving holiday to discuss a possible return to the Octagon, where Couture said he had no desire to return to the UFC at that time.

Cornering some of his fighters from Xtreme Couture at HDNet Fights on December 15, 2007, in Dallas, Texas, Couture answered questions about Fedor, stating that he would like to fight him in October once his employment contract with the UFC has expired, if the UFC cannot come to some kind of co-promotion agreement with M-1 Global before that time.

On Jan. 15, 2008, Zuffa (the UFC's parent company) filed a lawsuit in Clark County District Court in Nevada citing breach of contract and irreparable damage. Zuffa is seeking over $10,000 in damages. This suit concerns only Couture's employment contract and not his promotional contract. On February 28, 2008 Judge Jennifer Togliatti handed down the first ruling in the case of Zuffa v. Randy Couture issuing a preliminary injunction barring Couture's participation in an IFL event to be held the following day.

On August 2, 2008 a Texas appeals court granted Zuffa LLC's request for a stay against a motion for a declaratory judgment in a suit filed by HDNet regarding Randy Couture's contractual status with the UFC. The stay effectively ends the dispute in the state of Texas and Zuffa will be allowed to move forward with the Nevada suit.

Return to the UFC

On September 2, 2008 the UFC announced a 3 fight deal with the then 45 year old Randy Couture to return to active competition for the UFC. His first fight back was at UFC 91 on November 15, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada where he lost his UFC Heavyweight Championship to Brock Lesnar. It was at first a closely contested match, however, later in the fight Lesnar knocked Couture down and finished him with hammer fists for a TKO victory at 3:07 of the second round. In the post fight interview with Joe Rogan, Couture declared his desire to keep fighting. He stated that he felt like he was still becoming a better fighter and blamed his loss on a bad performance, not his age.

Couture has said he still wants to fight former Pride World Heavyweight Champion Fedor Emelianenko, but the UFC has been unable to reach an agreement with Fedor.

Couture has said he'd also drop weight to fight UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida if that's what the UFC wants.

Couture vs. Nogueira

On February 26, 2009, it was reported that Couture has agreed to a bout with former UFC interim heavyweight champion and former Pride World Heavyweight Champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 102 in Portland, OR. In that fight, on August 29, 2009, Couture lost a very competitive bout via unanimous decision. After the bout, Couture stated he felt like he was in the best shape of his life, and that he will wait and see what the UFC has in store for him in the future. The fight received the 'Fight of the Night' award, with both men receiving the bonus.

Return to light heavyweight

After the Nogueira match, Dana White announced Couture had signed a new 28 month/ 6 fight deal, prior to fighting Nogueira. (In other words, the loss to Nogueira was the first fight under his new contract, which replaced his old contract.)

On November 14, 2009, Couture defeated Brandon Vera in his first fight at Light Heavyweight since his loss to Chuck Liddell in 2006. Randy controlled the tempo of the fight by dominating the clinch and won a unanimous decision. At age 46, Couture became the oldest fighter to ever win a fight in the UFC.

Couture has verbally agreed to a fight against fellow hall of famer Mark Coleman at UFC 109, although the bout has not yet been finalized. If signed, the bout will mark the first time that UFC hall of famers have fought against each other in the Octagon. The pair were scheduled to meet at UFC 17 in 1998, but a Couture injury forced the cancellation of the bout. The legendary pair wrestled one another in a freestyle match at the 1989 Olympic Festival at Oklahoma State where Coleman won the match by one point. This fight will mark the oldest combined age of fighters to go head to head in the UFC.


Personal life

Couture was previously married to Sharon and Tricia, and was recently married to Kim Couture (née Holderman,). He has three children, sons Ryan and Caden and daughter Aimee, in addition to a stepson. Politically, he identifies himself with the Republican Party, but he chose not to officially endorse a candidate in the 2008 Presidential Election. Kim & Randy have filed for divorce, with Randy continuing to coach and support Kim's MMA career.

Mixed martial arts record

Result Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Mark Coleman UFC 109 February 6, 2010 Las Vegas, Nevadamarker, USAmarker
Win 17–10 Brandon Vera Decision (Unanimous) UFC 105: Couture vs. Vera November 14, 2009 3 5:00 Manchester, Englandmarker, UKmarker Return to the Light Heavyweight division
Loss 16–10 Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira Decision (Unanimous) UFC 102: Couture vs. Nogueira August 29, 2009 3 5:00 Portland, Oregonmarker, USmarker Won Fight of The Night
Loss 16–9 Brock Lesnar TKO (Punches) UFC 91: Couture vs. Lesnar November 15, 2008 2 3:07 Las Vegas, Nevadamarker, USmarker Lost UFC Heavyweight Championship
Win 16–8 Gabriel Gonzaga TKO (Punches) UFC 74: Respect August 25, 2007 3 1:37 Las Vegas, Nevadamarker, USmarker Defended UFC Heavyweight Championship
Win 15–8 Tim Sylvia Decision (Unanimous) UFC 68: The Uprising March 3, 2007 5 5:00 Columbus, Ohiomarker, USmarker Won UFC Heavyweight Championship
Loss 14–8 Chuck Liddell KO (Punch) UFC 57: Liddell vs. Couture 3 February 4, 2006 2 1:28 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States For UFC Light Heavyweight Championship
Win 14–7 Mike Van Arsdale Submission (Anaconda Choke) UFC 54: Boiling Point August 20, 2005 3 0:52 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 13–7 Chuck Liddell KO (Punches) UFC 52: Couture vs. Liddell 2 April 16, 2005 1 2:06 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Lost UFC Light Heavyweight Championship
Win 13–6 Vitor Belfort TKO (Doctor Stoppage) UFC 49: Unfinished Business August 21, 2004 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Won UFC Light Heavyweight Championship
Loss 12–6 Vitor Belfort TKO (Cut) UFC 46: Supernatural January 31, 2004 1 0:49 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Lost UFC Light Heavyweight Championship
Win 12–5 Tito Ortiz Decision (Unanimous) UFC 44: Undisputed September 26, 2003 5 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Won UFC Light Heavyweight Championship
Win 11–5 Chuck Liddell TKO (Punches) UFC 43: Meltdown June 6, 2003 3 2:40 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Won Interim UFC Light Heavyweight Championship
Loss 10–5 Ricco Rodriguez Submission (Strikes) UFC 39: The Warriors Return September 27, 2002 5 3:04 Uncasvillemarker, Connecticutmarker, United States For vacant UFC Heavyweight Championship
Loss 10–4 Josh Barnett TKO (Punches) UFC 36: Worlds Collide March 22, 2002 2 4:35 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Lost UFC Heavyweight Championship; Barnett tested positive for steroids.
Win 10–3 Pedro Rizzo TKO (Strikes) UFC 34: High Voltage November 2, 2001 3 1:38 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Defended UFC Heavyweight Championship
Win 9–3 Pedro Rizzo Decision (Unanimous) UFC 31: Locked and Loaded May 4, 2001 5 5:00 Atlantic City, New Jerseymarker, United States Defended UFC Heavyweight Championship
Loss 8–3 Valentijn Overeem Submission (Guillotine Choke) RINGS: King of Kings 2000 Final February 24, 2001 1 0:56 Tokyo, Japan
Win 8–2 Tsuyoshi Kohsaka Decision (Unanimous) RINGS: King of Kings 2000 Final February 24, 2001 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 7–2 Kevin Randleman TKO (Strikes) UFC 28: High Stakes November 17, 2000 3 4:13 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Won UFC Heavyweight Championship
Win 6–2 Ryushi Yanagisawa Decision (Majority) RINGS: King of Kings 2000 Block A October 9, 2000 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 5–2 Jeremy Horn Decision (Unanimous) RINGS: King of Kings 2000 Block A October 9, 2000 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 4–2 Mikhail Illoukhine Submission (Kimura) RINGS: Rise 1st March 20, 1999 1 7:43 Japan
Loss 4–1 Enson Inoue Submission (Armbar) Vale Tudo Japan 1998 October 25, 1998 1 1:39 Japan
Win 4–0 Maurice Smith Decision (Majority) UFC Ultimate Japan December 21, 1997 1 21:00 Yokohama, Japan Won UFC Heavyweight Championship
Win 3–0 Vitor Belfort TKO (Strikes) UFC 15: Collision Course October 17, 1997 1 8:17 Bay St. Louis, Mississippimarker, United States
Win 2–0 Steven Graham TKO (Strikes) UFC 13: The Ultimate Force May 30, 1997 1 3:13 Augusta, Georgiamarker, United States Won UFC 13 Heavyweight Tournament
Win 1–0 Tony Halme Submission (Rear Naked Choke) UFC 13: The Ultimate Force May 30, 1997 1 1:00 Augusta, Georgia, United States


  • Amateur
    • Pan American Championship Greco-Roman Seniors 90 kg – second place (June 13, 1990)
    • Pan American Championship Greco-Roman Seniors 90 kg – winner (January 1, 1991)
    • Pan American Championship Greco-Roman Seniors 90 kg – second place (January 1, 1992)
    • Pan American Championship Greco-Roman Seniors 97 kg – third place (May 21, 1997)
    • Pan American Championship Greco-Roman Seniors 97 kg – second place (March 24, 1998)
    • Pan American Games Greco-Roman Seniors 90 kg – winner (August 6, 1991)
    • FILA test tournament Greco-Roman Seniors 97 kg – third place (March 14, 1998)
    • FILA World Cup Greco-Roman Seniors 90 kg – third place (November 9, 1991)
    • FILA World Cup Greco-Roman Seniors 90 kg – third place (November 21, 1992)
  • Professional
    • UFC World Heavyweight Champion
    • UFC Light Heavyweigth Champion
    • Ultimate Fighting Championship Hall of Fame
    • UFC 13 heavyweight tournament winner
    • Interim UFC light heavyweight champion
    • Most light heavyweight world championship belt (2x)
    • Most heavyweight world championship belt (3x)
    • Most championship belt in UFC history (6x)
    • Most world championship belt in UFC history (5x)
    • Most title fight fought in UFC history (15x)
    • Oldest fighter to win a world championship belt in UFC history (43 year, 255 days)
    • First fighter in UFC history to hold two world championship titles
    • First fighter in UFC history to become a champion after being inducted into the Hall of Fame
    • The oldest competitor to ever win a fight in the UFC


  1. "Randy's resignation rocks UFC." Oct 11, 2007, "Couture, who is generally considered by most to be the most popular fighter in MMA history, won his fifth title when..."
  3. ttp://
  9. FOX Sports on MSN - Boxing - UFC's White: Couture's still mine
  10. - Sports - Couture is target of UFC lawsuit
  24. - EA announced star studded cast for Command and Conquer Red Alert 3

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