Couture Newspaper Article

This article appeared in yesterday's Corvallis, OR Gazette Times. They follow Randy's career since he coached wrestling here @ Oregon State.

Here's the text:

Gone in 20 seconds

Former OSU assistant Randy Couture loses title on freak' punch

By Kevin Hampton
Mid-Valley Sports

Twenty seconds.

Randy Couture's Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight belt, won in September over Tito Ortiz, was lost after those few ticks of the clock.

Couture was defending his title against Brazilian Vitor Belfort on Jan. 31 in Las Vegas.

It was a fight Couture, a former Oregon State assistant wrestling coach and Gresham resident, was favored to win, although Belfort was considered the top contender for the belt. He had already beaten Belfort in 1997 when the referee stopped the bout after eight minutes.

The title fight was stopped as well. The two fighters had gone into a clinch and the stitched seam of Belfort's glove sliced across Couture's left eye.

"He basically grazed me with the glove," Couture said. "It was kind of a freak thing."

The referee noticed Couture grimacing and struggling to open his eye and called a halt to the action.

A doctor examined Couture's eye abrasion and determined that he could not go on without the use of an eye.

Because the injury was caused by a strike, Belfort was awarded the win and the belt.

Just like that, it was over.

The loss does not mean the end of Couture's career, however. A rematch is already in the works, tentatively planned for June.

"I'll be back in there to settle it one way or another," Couture said.

His contract with UFC stipulates that he have no contact for 30 days after the injury.

The corneal abrasion has healed and Couture said he figures to be back on his regular workout regimen when the stitches in his eyelid are removed next week.

Couture said he might do some commentary during the April 2 event, which includes the Ortiz-Chuck Liddell fight, the winner of which he hopes to fight later in the year.

At 40, he is at the peak of his UFC ability, sporting a chiseled physique of an athlete 20 years his junior.

Known in the UFC as "The Natural," Couture made a name for himself in the sport as a heavyweight but has become a star since his switch to the light heavyweight division.

"There's a lot of prestige in the light heavyweight division because of the caliber of athletes in that division," Couture said. "There's a lot more media attention and a lot more hype."

A big reason Couture's star has begun to shine was his win over Ortiz, a flashy fan favorite who was expected by many to dominate the fight.

Time and again Couture slammed Ortiz to the mat, using his superior wrestling skills to frustrate Ortiz when he tried to mount any type of offense. The sellout crowd of 11,405, which had a solid celebrity group of actors, rappers and athletes, was stunned.

The cheers greeting Ortiz at the beginning of the match suddenly switched for Couture as the match wore on and it was evident that he would wind up with the belt.

"Obviously (beating Ortiz) was a big deal," Couture said.

Couture found himself on TV. He joked around with Jimmy Kimmel and the stars of "The Best Damn Sports Show Period."

Now Couture is stopped for autographs every time he goes to the grocery store or is in an airport.

"It's definitely a new experience," he said. "Recognition is something I'm not used to from the wrestling world. Some freak out about it and go all Beatlemania about it, (but) one of the best parts about being involved in this is being able to meet a lot of interesting people."


Couture will turn 41 in June but plans to compete as long as he is able.

"I take it one fight at a time," he said. "I'm not going to place any limits on myself. It seems like every time I compete, I get better. As long as I can train at a high level and physically can do what needs to be done, I'll be competing."


Spiral: Cool article. You live in Corvallis? Where do you train??

nice article, doesn't say anything negative about the sport.

ttt nice


BushHog, I live an hour's drive from Corvallis out in the coast range. The three closest places for me to train are Willamette Valley KB in Alany, Muay Thai in Eugene, and BJJ @ downtown athletic club in Eugene.
Any one of those choices is a 3 hour round trip for me, so I don't currently train - I just workout on my own.

I just round up my local logger friends here and beat the crap out of them for fun.

Yeah, it's funny that there's zero negative content. If he wasn't a local, I can guarantee you that the liberal freaks in Corvallis would shred the sport as a brutal spectacle.

Thanks for the article.

ttt the Natural.

ttt for positive media