Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Nice guys don't always finish last.
At this weekend's The Ultimate Fighter 3 finale at the Hard Rock in Vegas, grappling icon Randy Couture was inducted into the UFC Hall-of-Fame.
The former heavyweight and light-heavyweight champ -- the only man to ever win both titles -- accepted the honour with his usual grace.
Speaking from a California movie set where he was filming a bit part in the new Rob Schneider prison comedy last week, Randy told Sun Media that just because he's retired, it doesn't mean his he's putting his feet up reminiscing about old times.
"I'm as busy as ever," says Couture.
In between appearances, movies and Octagon-side commentating duties for UFC 60, Couture is setting up a couple of gyms in Vegas, where he now lives.
His goal is to train top UFC fighters and is already working with Forrest Griffin and Jay Heron among others.
But his ultimate goal is to get a job with the UFC, that doesn't involve bloody knuckles and leg locks.
"I hope that I'm going to able to work for the UFC in some way shape or form," he said.
Couture says he'd love to do more commentating as well as help the UFC's latest front office hire -- former Nevada State Athletic Commision executive director Marc Ratner -- sell the sport to sanctioning bodies in the U.S. and Canada.
"UFC president Dana White and I are talking about a lot of things," he said.
"A lot of ways that I can fit in to the UFC."
Couture, who retired after losing a light-heavyweight title bout to Chuck Liddell in February, leaves the sport with a deceptive 14-8 record.
And the reputation as the classiest man in the UFC.
The soft-spoken, chissel jawed giant with the trademark cauliflower ears, remains a fan favourite.
This weekend, he joined Royce Gracie, Dan Severn and Ken Shamrock as the only members of the prestigious UFC hall-of-fame.
Now, it's not beyond the realm of reason that Couture would return to the Octagon in the future. Gracie has and Shamrock will lace up again in a couple of weeks.
But, having turned 43 last week, Randy says he wants to savour retirement.
"You can never say never, but it's not in the plan right now," he said.
Posted by Doug Jefford