Report: Couture to retire after UFC 129
Mixed martial arts legend Randy Couture will retire from active competition after his bout with Lyoto Machida at UFC 129, Sky Sports reported Wednesday.
The 47-year-old, who made his mixed martial arts debut in 1997, will fight for the last time in front of 55,000 fans at the Rogers Centre in Toronto on April 30.
Couture is a three-time heavyweight champion in UFC and has also held the light-heavyweight title twice.
He has faced off against some of the biggest names in MMA history, including Chuck Liddell (three times), Vitor Belfort (three times), Tito Ortiz, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Brock Lesnar, Mark Coleman and Pedro Rizzo (twice).
"I want to go out on my terms and decide when enough is enough," he said Tuesday.
"I've had a great camp, everything is spot on, I can't wait until next week," he went on. " It's a fight I've been looking forward to for a long time, and it's finally going to happen. But it's time to focus on the other things I've got going on in my life after this fight."
Couture feels that he is still able to compete at the very top level and has stated that his advancing years had nothing to do with his decision to quit the sport.
"That was one of the things that I struggled with because I am as healthy as ever," Couture said.
"The Natural" retired once before -- in 2006 -- but came back to regain the heavyweight title and is currently on a run of three consecutive victories.
He is determined to go out on a high by extending that run to four in defeating former light-heavyweight champion Machida. Overall, Couture has won five titles in the heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions.
Couture was a three-time wrestling All-American at Oklahoma State University, and has a career record of 19-10. Out of his 29 career fights, 15 have come with a belt on the line.