Randy “the Natural” Couture

Posted: April 30, 2011 in Fandom, MMA
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

This post is one of a million posts that are on the web or about to be on the web. You really don’t need another one, and I really don’t need to write one, but I can’t help myself. I write this just to throw in my two cents, but I’ll keep it short because you have so many of these to read.

As I’ve already mentioned on this blog, I’ve been watching UFC pay-per-views since UFC 2. The first one I attended was UFC 7 in Buffalo, NY. I haven’t just studied the history of this sport; I remember it. By 1995, I was working for Extreme Fighting and hung out with many of the pioneers of the sport.

When Royce Gracie brought Gracie jiu-jitsu to the United States, I was one of the people who was learning about it for the first time. I studied Aikido in 1990 and Hapkido in 1991, but that wasn’t nearly the same thing. By 1996, I was studying directly under Carlson Gracie, Jr. in Chicago, IL, somehow finding the time between working full time and going to law school at night, and I later studied in the Royce Gracie network. From Ken Shamrock I learned about leg locks. Mark Coleman perfected ground-and-pound. When Maurice Smith made the stand-up game relevant again, paving the way for the well-rounded fighters we have today, I was there watching it first hand in Tulsa, OK, and had a good talk with him about it at the after-party.

I am the archetype of the American martial artist who’s hobby was changed virtually overnight by the contributions of the early fighters working for next to nothing but risking nearly everything. I truly appreciate what they did.

All of that appreciation for those other fighters being given, I add this: Randy Couture is the greatest fighter that has ever competed in mixed martial arts. His combination of charisma, intelligence, technique, and heart is unparalleled in my favorite sport, and it will be some time before anyone can match that. On a few nights during his career, his opponent was the better man, but when the history of MMA is written, he will be the best man.

Bravo, Randy, and thank you.

Randy-Champ

EDIT: I received a “thank you” from Randy’s son, Ryan.

Follow me on Twitter @MMADork
Follow Randy Couture on Twitter @Randy_Couture

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