Former six-time UFC heavyweight and three-time UFC light heavyweight champion Randy Couture is once again saying he'll retire after his next fight. He'll face a fellow ex-UFC champ in Lyoto Machida at UFC 129.
Couture has announced his retirement twice before: once in 2006 after losing a title fight to Chuck Liddell at UFC 57; and again in October 2007 when he attempted to sever all ties with the UFC in pursuit of a bout with Fedor Emelianenko.
This time he says he means it, per Josh Gross:
"I believe this is my last fight. I know the UFC is probably going to have other ideas, especially with acquiring Strikeforce and all that. They're probably going to try to draw me into another fight but I don't think that's going to happen. I want to stick to my guns and this is the last one.
"I will miss the competition immensely but I want to go out on my terms," Couture said. "I want to go out when I think it's time to go out and not because I lost this fight or lost that fight or because I had an injury that precludes me from training the way I want to train.
"I want to make the decision on my own."
This is a slightly different statement than he gave MMA Weekly last week, compare and contrast:
"I'm not going to say it's the end. I'm not going to make any official announcements. It doesn't make sense to do that, because they'll throw something at me that's intriguing and interesting to me, and then I'll be right back in there. Then I really will be the 'Brett Favre of MMA'."
"[Another title run would be] just the icing on the cake. That's not really what it's about for me at this point."
Couture will definitely be missed. Bloody Elbow will be doing a number of features on Couture's life inside and outside the cage as we count down to his final fight at UFC 129.