Although Randy Couture has walked away from mixed martial arts a couple of times in the past, the UFC Hall of Famer reiterated on Tuesday’s conference call that “UFC 129: St-Pierre vs. Shields” will indeed mark his final act.
“It’s been an ongoing transition for me,” Couture said of the decision to finally call it quits. “I kind of want to go out on my own terms and decide when enough is enough. I think that time has come.
“I think it’s time to focus on the other things I have going in my life after the fight, and I’ve pushed it pretty far. I don’t think anybody is going to push it as far as I have the last 14 years.”
The soon-to-be 48-year-old said he expects for Octagon brass to entice him to return by throwing intriguing matchups at him, particularly since they now have Strikeforce’s added talent pool at their disposal, but he claims “it’s just time to start enjoying life.”
Couture launched his illustrious career at UFC 13 back in May of 1997. He owns an underrated 19-10 record, with 15 of his fights coming in championship affairs. Although the end is near for “The Natural,” Couture took no shortcuts in preparing for former light heavyweight champ Lyoto Machida.
“I’ve had a great camp, everything is spot on,” he said. “I can’t wait until next week. It’s been a fight I’ve been looking forward to for a long time and it’s finally going to happen.”
UFC 129 takes place April 30th inside the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada.