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Randy Couture turns down title defense against Minotauro Nogueira

Randy Couture has turned down the offer to defend his title against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 81 but still would like to continue to work with the UFC in other capacities according to MMA Weekly:

In a meeting with Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White last Tuesday, current heavyweight champion Randy Couture turned down a proposed title defense against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 81 on Feb. 2, 2008.

“We’ve cleared the air, and hopefully we’ll move forward with some sort of relationship,” Couture said. “I’ve got a lot of fighters and a lot of things that hinge around mixed martial arts and the UFC as well. I want to continue to work with them and I think that they want to continue to work with me, so we’ll figure out how that happens.”

There’s nothing else you can say except for this is bad news for the UFC. The UFC and Randy Couture can’t come to terms and they can’t get him the fight he wants, which is against Fedor Emelianenko. It seems that Tim Sylvia vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 81 for the now vacant heavyweight title is looking more and more likely.

Randy will probably continue to work for the UFC in other capacities such as ambassador, commentator, and figurehead for the regulation of mixed martial arts in non-regulated states but whether or not we’ll see him in the Octagon again is a complete question mark. For all intents and purposes Randy Couture is retired. Not resigned. Retired.

  • Evan says:

    Fine with me. As long as he stays with the UFC.

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  • Davey D says:

    Why can’t Randyt realize that Fedor does not want to fight him. At least not in the UFC he doesn’t. This could’ve been, would’ve and damn well should’ve been. Maybe this bout can still happen and maybe it doesn’t have to be for Titles and such either?

    Neither man is ready for fight the other anytime soon so only time will time.

    I don’t Randy is ready to fight someone like Nogueira anytime soon or in two months either. Couture could’ve, whould’ve and should’ve…and now the Champ leaves the building.

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  • Sam Cupitt says:

    They better bring Arlovski back quick smart if this is true because otherwise the Heavyweight division is fucked. Sylvia vs. Nogueira? Fans hate Sylvia, and he’s a PR nightmare and most fans have basically no idea who Nogueira is and the fans who do, know that he got destroyed by Fedor two and a half times. Dissapointing.

    Lets just all hope that Randy is fighting Rampage on February.

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  • Tommy says:

    Randy is not willing to loss to anyone but Fedor. I’m not saying he would but.. He retired and people looked up to him but he was still k.o.’ed by Liddell twice at the end of his career and had a so so record. Now that he came back and won two hard fights back to back people are really worshipping him and his school has grown exponentially. He figures he fights Fedor and either way he wins. If he wins he is a god and if he loses it was to Fedor nobody will think worse of him and it wont hurt his rep or school. It’s simply a safe business move and quite simply it kinda shitty he won’t honor what he said he would in the first place. Notice he isn’t interested in redeeming any of his loses or fighting anyone that could beat him, just fighting Fedor all of a sudden.

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  • Gabber says:

    I don’t know, while this isn’t great news, it might be good news. Now, with Randy not holding the belt, it’s not such a big deal to bring in a guy like Fedor for a Superfight. Least this way if Randy loses, he doesn’t seem like a paper champion. Now, if Big Nog beats Sylvia, then he looks like the paper champion unless he might actually be able to be beat Fedor, I doubt it.

    Crazy, just looking on the banner for the sight, how is a Din Thomas shirt from Warrior $24.99 and Gabe Gonzaga is $9.99. Hilarious. :D

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  • Dizzle says:

    That’s Bonk because Sylvia gets a title shot just by beating Brandon Vera…I don’t think that is very fair. I think that Kongo Deserves a title shot more than Sylvia.

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  • Guy Gaduois says:

    I don’t understand why Gonzaga v. Sylvia isn’t for the heavyweight belt:
    It features the last belt holder and the (alleged) last number one contender – it’s the shortest distance to Coture’s pathway to the belt and first defense of the belt.
    Why not have the new title be the shortest distance between two points?
    Couture def. Silvia, defends belt against Gonzaga. Couture is gone, same ingredients without Couture is Silvia v. Gonzaga.
    It’s like a rocket science expo.

    Let Noguiera be the first title defense for winner of Sylvia v. Gonzaga, otherwise Gonzaga drops two places for facing the champ and Noguiera jumps up . . . who knows how many spaces for not fighting anyone who’s been within five spaces of the belt in the last two years. Herring? Really?
    That’s an odd fight config. if it happens.

    UFC really has to figure out the rankings, otherwise just switch completely to American Idol phone survey dial-a-fight for their matchups.

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  • Anton K says:


    I’m with you. Kongo should be in there – not that I’m a fan of his – but it seems he’s made all the right moves and deserves a shot.

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  • Jay K. says:

    Kongo would get worked…WORKED I tell you!! Kongo’s style of fighting is mostly standup with little in the way of combination punches being thrown.

    Randy’s style is fast and multiple striking combinations mixed in with a ground game. This would definitely be a fight backwards for Randy as he had already beaten a much better fighter in Gabriel Gonzaga who is extremely talented.

    Jay K.

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  • Ted Dibiase says:

    whoever said Kongo deserves a shot is retarded.

    sylvia gets it cuz he was the last champion and beat someone who was considered a challenger for his belt in the past. do you ppl know anything about mma?

    randy turned down a fight with fedor for bodog so whos scared now?

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  • Michael J. S. says:

    I think that it is weak for Randy to come out of retierment fight a couple of fights and then just sit back and nit pick at who he’s going to fight. Hang up your gloves man. Chuck would knock out again. To bad that Vadalei Silvia lost that fight. I would like to see Vandalei fight Couture.

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  • JD says:

    Randy has only got one or two more top quality fights left in his career. Fedor is the best out there. They should let Randy fight his last fight against the very best. The sport owes him that, and he’s earned it. Make it happen.

    I want to see Randy and Fedor fight for the title. Who doesn’t?

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