Mixed Martial Arts is finally allowed in the province of Ontario, and the UFC wasted no time scheduling the fights that will occupy the former Sky Dome, now known as the Rogers Centre, in Toronto, Ontario. The obvious fighter that the UFC could put on any Canadian card is Georges St. Pierre. And to no one’s surprise, the UFC did put GSP on the first UFC card in Toronto along with a fight that came out of left field; Randy Couture vs. Lyoto Machida.
Couture recently contributed to rumors of his retirement by adding that he only wants to fight Machida or Heavyweight Champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, and “Shogun” already has a planned encounter with Rashad Evans. This made a likely impression that Couture would retire, seeing as Randy has not fought a top five light heavyweight competitor in some time, the likeliness of Randy getting his request of Machida seemed preposterous. Though it now appears as if Randy will get his request to fight Machida granted, as well as the fight will take place during the first ever UFC to hit Ontario, that is something nobody can claim they thought would happen.
Now, if the stars align for Randy on that cool April night, what will Randy do if he wins?
Randy is considering retirement and focusing on film projects, and that is not to say Randy cannot compete with Machida or that Randy will not be focused on the task at hand, but it does say something about where Couture’s mindset is at. When a fighter publically contemplates retirement you know it is almost certainly over for that athlete, and even though Randy has already walked away in the past, only to return with a vengeance and capture another belt, I believe this fight is a gamble for Randy. Randy recently completed something historic in his decimation of James Toney, and he has the opportunity to walk away with that accolade as his lasting memory amongst fans.
Don’t get me wrong, Randy Couture in Toronto is an amazing gift to the province of Ontario, but after Couture’s recent demonstration to the public which hinted towards retirement, this fight does not make a lot of sense. If Couture loses, do you honestly think he will walk away, and if Couture wins that will put him in line for a title contender fight, once again; do you really think he will walk away?
Author: Jason Kelly